I couldn’t be happier about publishing my first book. I love poetry and all that comes with the freedom of writing in my own, personal unique style without the fear of breaking tedious writing rules. I’m a person who doesn’t prefer rules when it comes to being creative. However, I don’t disagree with hiring editors for writing books. Personally, I just want to be free, but I digress. With that being said, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. Let’s just say I’m hooked already.
Whenever I would write as a teenager, I would always write storybooks. I actually took a huge chance at writing poetry. I always admired the way poets could tell a story in words that sometimes would be in disarray or scattered along a page. As an adult, I started back writing during my time in grad school, which I did not finish, but that’s information for another type of blog post. In between classes, I would write on my cell phone, notebook, or laptop, all these poems that just sort of took me on this journey towards a full poetry book. I learned that writing poetry is one of the writing skills I never knew I had. I also enjoy it. I feel that if you don’t have confidence in yourself, no one else will, right?
Now back to the present time. It didn’t take much to make up my mind and take a shot in the dark and begin to write a novel. Initially, my brain said Why are we doing this? We haven’t even finished the next poetry book yet! And I told my brain to be quiet. I’m every woman, and I got this! With my next poetry book already mapped out, I actually had to take a mental break. Self-doubt started to creep in. I started looking at my prior book sales and reviews and started doubting my ability as a writer. Questions ran through my head daily like Why write another book if I’m not making tons of sales with the one I have? Or, How can I be a better marketer if I’m not that good with social media? My teenage self is looking at my adult self, saying, This is a whole new world we didn’t anticipate. I started thinking about what it takes to be a writer in this computer age. These thoughts crippled my ability to develop ideas: this and a busy lifestyle outside of being a writer. I decided to support other writers and continue to read books and watch movies hoping to gain inspiration. I told myself that I would wait for that golden moment when my brain decided to flow with new ideas. And, I knew it would.
Guess what? Something happened mentally that made me re-assess my method of writing. I simply stopped stressing and started enjoying the time I wasn’t stressing about writing. Suddenly ideas started flowing. Taking a break made my mind overflow with new ideas that I had never dreamed or considered. I was seemingly being led down a rabbit hole where science is concerned, and I was DELIGHTED. Why haven’t I started on this years ago? I ask myself. Well, sometimes you have to wait for inspiration. You can’t force ideas to come. So, once I realized what my next book, I feel, is destined to be, I continually immerse myself in information. I’ve mostly been watching videos and researching cities and locations where my characters live. I’ve settled on my main character, and I’m satisfied so far with where I am in this journey. Sometimes I wonder if writers tap into some sort of unconscious bank of knowledge. Maybe this is where we find these ideas to create stories of people or places that we’ve yet to discover or even comprehend.
We have all of this conscious and unconscious information hovering around in our minds that we are, in turn, able to weave into stories. We essentially can see the stories in our mind’s eye. Ok, I did not mean to go in this direction, but while I’m here… I started studying information about unconscious thoughts. After some research, I stumbled upon an article called “A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious.” It’s an older article but relevant. I learned that on a neural level, at rest, our mind is like a sponge absorbing knowledge from various sources such as sound, images, and concepts, whether abstract or concrete. Our unconscious brain is making connections between verbal and visual associations. Our creative processes and decisions depend on unconscious activities. The brain is working in an “episodic memory” state where various sections of the brain are making connections out of information. An example would be your brain connecting things from the past, present, or future.
I didn’t mean to bore you, but I knew I discovered something; I just didn’t understand how this process worked. So, yeah, basically, science tells me that all is not lost or that there is no wasted effort. My brain just hasn’t figured out a solution to my writer’s block! To conclude, I’m going to give myself grace and begin this journey with an open mind. I’m having so much fun these days reading about other writer’s quirky writing obstacles or their tales of character development from hell. And, I’m so excited to meet my characters and begin creating the worlds I see forming in my head. I’ll say “create again” because my younger self is very happy with my decision, and I’m going to make her proud.
If you’ve got some funny stories of self-discovery, please share. Subscribe below! Share your blog, or if you’ve written a novel, book, or story, please feel free to comment with advice or encouragement. I’d love to hear about your writing journey. Thanks! 😉