by Maria Geraci
About 15 months ago, I began writing my latest wip (work-in-progress).
I'm only about 3/4's done with the story. A novel that should have taken me about 6 months to write.
So why haven't I finished it yet?
Yes, life got in the way. But life always gets in the way. I really have no excuse. I like this story and every time I sit down to write the words seem to flow. Sure, they flow more on some days than others, but overall, it's a good story. At least, I think it is. So, what's the deal? The deal is, I've divorced myself from the story. I've neglected it when I should have been nourishing it. It's like the little crab my son got on his eighth birthday. He put the cage in his closet (for some reason) then forgot to feed the thing. About a week later when I went to clean his room, I found it. Yeah, not a pretty sight. It taught him an early lesson. Neglect is an awful thing. I should have paid more attention.
Writing is like exercise. The more you do it, the more endorphins you release and the better you feel. But take a week off from the gym and it feels like pulling teeth to get back there again. So in the infamous words of Nike, Just do it. Write. Plant your butt in the chair and get the fingers moving. It's the only advice I know to give any writer. The more you think about and dream about your story the more you stay in the story and that's how the story gets written.
So what have I done with the novel I began in the fall of 2012?
I had to go back to page 1. Read from the beginning. Get to know the characters' all over again and what makes them tick. I've had to force myself to write at different times of the day. Best writing time for me? When I wake up in the morning and then again right before I go to sleep. Writing before bedtime helps me dream about my story. Not consciously, not all the time, but I know deep down that my subconscious is figuring it all out, hence, why writing when I wake up is so productive.
Writing for me, has got to be a passion. All fire-breathing dragon. Like something that's alive and waiting to consume me if I don't get the words on the page. That's how I write my best stories. I'd forgotten that. I'd let dustballs and the rest of life get in the way. Not anymore. Not if I want to continue to call myself a writer. Not if I want to get this story done.