If you summon your courage to challenge something, you'll never regret it. How sad it would be to spend your life wishing, "If only I had a little more courage." Whatever the outcome, the important thing is to take a step forward on the path that you believe is right. There's no need to worry about what others may think. It's your life, after all. Be true to yourself! ~~ Nichiren Daishonin
When I embarked upon my writing journey almost a year ago, I never imagined the road I would end up on once my book was published. Hell, I didn't even think about publishing it until after it was done and then I didn't think anyone would read it much less get people talking about it.
So much has happened since I blindly and naively sat down at my computer to write "Sinner's Ride". I've met some really wonderful, diverse and interesting people -- artists in their own right. I've had the opportunity to work with sincere, intelligent and talented individuals. I have been fortunate enough to enhance my inner circle of friends. I am deeply appreciative of all their comments, support and consideration. It has been a helluva ride!
With that said, I also have to admit that I've had to face some challenges; some of them inner challenges. And, I think I am a better person for it. I've learned to let go of some of the baggage from my past. I've learned to look at things differently, more positively and I've learned patience.
I have been off from work all week due to law mandated construction work in my kitchen. I thought I would spend this time working on my WIP while the construction workers banged away. Since there were some other personal things I had to get done, I scheduled those appointments. But, that's not my problem.
When I began to think about my next project, I challenged myself to write a more complex tale and I put the onus on myself to write a better, fuller, more intense story than "Sinner's Ride." I had a good idea of what I wanted to write about and I thought I knew how the story would go, but I soon learned that was not going to be the case. This story was going to demand the right to take on a life of its own. I was merely a vehicle through which this story would develop and flow. So, I wrote my first and second chapters and then the third. When I went back to review/edit what I already had down, I didn't like it so I chucked it and started all over again. I had even sent the older version to my publisher. But. this new piece I liked much better. I then discovered that it would be a struggle to write specific plot lines for certain characters and I couldn't understand why. So I called a friend.
You see, I'm anal. Some would say "just write and go back to the areas where you have trouble later." I couldn't conceivably do that because the characters wouldn't let me. So I called my friend night after night after night. We talked about different scenarios and we tossed around ideas and we even came up with an idea for another story all together. But at the end of the day, it wasn't his problem. I had to figure out where my challenge was and why it was so difficult for me to write for these particular characters.
The quote above very nicely wraps up this issue for me. I thought about giving up on this story and going back to my UF WIP, because that truly is when I started writing. But I'm not a quitter. If I give up on this story, then I won't evolve from what is holding me back. This story is proving to be a challenge for me because of noise in my own head and due to all of that ruckus, the words are slow in coming. I've had to stop and listen and try to make some sense of that noise and then let it die out.
My friend is very spiritual. He sees messages from the universe in all challenges. Maybe he's right. Frankly, I think he may very well be. I, for one, believe that we are always exactly where we are supposed to be. I don't ever want to say "If only I had a little more courage." However, this I know for certain: I might fail; this book may not be read by anyone except maybe my friends and family members whose throat I shove it down. But I won't quit.
I am secure in knowing I won't be saying "If only I had more courage". I believe that this story for one, and my writing overall, is the right path for me. I'm sure I'm not going to regret it, whatever the outcome.