It starts innocently enough with my 8th grade novel. The one in the spiral notebook with the yellow cover, that long ago fell off. The cover I was sure I kept and now cannot find. I'm not sure why I care.
The whole thing is dramatic, angst filled, almost painful to read. My girlish scrawl with little circles for the i's and hearts at the bottom of exclamation points from the beginning to the middle and right through the end.
The end, which gives me a moment's pause to marvel at my 8th grade self's ability to know the end of something, to be sure of something, to be done with something, to do something she loved.
Despite the long passages that read like the finest in daytime tv and make me snort with laughter...
Such As: "Lacie,my god not her!" Lacie Ancall, my best friend, always there, never (oh God) never complaining. I had known her since the 1st grade, practically my whole life, and I guess I didn't know her well enough. Only 16, a brutal death from her own hands. She had tried to tell us, all of us, in her own way. She talked about death, she was obsessed with it. God, we just thought she was being her normally, abnormally strange self. But she was covering up her sorrows all these years, and I didn't even hear her cries for help, I ignored them and now she's gone."
Overlooking the random quotes at the beginning of each chapter that have me questioning my own 13 year old self's reasoning skills. Of course, this is the same 13 year old self who would have stepped in front of a bus and let it run over her 6 times in a row if it meant she could meet OMG he's soooooooooooo FINE, Kiefer Sutherland.
All that matters is that it's a story and it's done.
Not long after I find it (so long ago now) I start writing again. Just for me. Silly things that I don't think about publishing, showing anyone. Just because I can and I want to. Journal upon journal filled with moments.
Then to the blog and the audience, the markets and the book that I think will surely kill me. And I'm wrapped up in everything but the writing.
Until I think of those 93 pages of perfect writing in pen. I wonder how many pages I had to tear out to get it just right. I imagine the look of it was much more urgent than the content.
Which really might not be a bad thing. Back then, I never considered a word. I just went with the story.
I still do this sometimes. Block out the future, the markets, the audience...success and am gracious enough to listen fully to what's flowing through me.
But not nearly enough. And I promise myself to do it more often.