July 1st, 2012
Well, June has come and gone with barely an acknowledgment as it whisked through the door. My 30 Days of Write challenge has ended. How did I do? If you recall, my challenge had two parts:
- I will post every day in the month of June.
- Also, by the end of the month I will have Story Blue, aka The Third String, in a readable state.
I posted to my blog every day. Some of the posts were definitely fillers or lightweight pieces but I am very proud of a couple of them. Among them, I think that Winners (and Dads!) Never Quit is a great piece. (Didn’t read it? You know how this works. Go check it out. I’ll wait here…) Also, a few blogs about my wife and I, my father and one of my brothers are good reads. For at least a few moments every day, I sat down and focused on something important to me: writing. That feels good.
I had less success with the second aspect of my challenge. I wrote a bit more to Story Blue but it’s nowhere near a readable state. I still have not yet figured out how long the story should be. The more time I spend in it, the more I like the character and premise. But I’m not fanatical about it being my debut novel. (I may never have a debut novel. I’m more interested in writing a good story.) On the other hand, one of my all-time favorite authors, Roger Zelazny, created a character, Dilvish, that appeared in a number of short stories ultimately collected into one book. Also, Zelazny resolved the plot thread that carried through all of the shorts in a final novel about the character. I could see a similar structure for Michael, Story Blue’s protagonist. Maybe my debut “novel” will actually be a collection of short stories. That is an interesting idea…
So as far as goals go, I hit 50% in my June challenge. I’m not expecting any awards for the quality of my writing this past month. But that wasn’t really the point of the challenge. The challenge was intended to get me to focus on this process that is important to me. In that respect, the challenge was an amazing success. I feel great. Writing is something that brings me closer to who I feel I should be. Balancing out all of my responsibilities and still sitting down to write each day can be tough but the outcome feels great.
Funny thing about how good I feel, though. I feel good right now because I’m writing on a regular basis. It could be tempting to allow myself to write less frequently because- hey- I’m feeling fine, right? Well- I’m feeling fine because I am engaged in a process that is fulfilling. Once I stop, I have no doubts that the unsettled feeling I had for years and years will return. So I need to make my writing a focus. Doing that is me trying to make myself the person I think I should be. If it takes me years to produce any kind of finished product, so be it. It is really the process, not the end result, that is what is important to me.
So I will keep a focus on my writing. I hope that my process might inspire you to follow something important to you. It is the pursuit of our dreams that makes this human condition bearable. Good luck on your journey!