November 2008 was a life changing month. I turned thirty-two. I re-established contact with my kids and started a plan to get custody of them on at least a part-time basis. The sudden inclusion of my kids changes everything when it comes to my priorities.
Second only to talking to my children, I entered a 'competition' in which you had to write 50,000 words in thirty days, with no planning ahead or any other shortcut-taking.
Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is something you enter to win. It's where you find out who you are.
At first, I didn't think it was that big a deal, to write 50,000 words in thirty days, but then again, I've never placed any sort of cap on my writing; I would write until the story was done, and I would write whenever, and where-ever, the mood struck me. Very literally, literary abandon.
When the reality of the monstrous word count set in, and it felt like emptying the ocean with a tablespoon, I was going to bow out. Then something funny happened, on twitter of all places; one of my followers asked me; "Oh, I thought you were a writer. Tell me about Modern Magic!"
It was a genuine question. I had mentioned it plenty of times on twitter and lived with it more than half of my life. Yet, when I went to answer, I stumbled. All I could say was that it was my 'life's dream', a place where writers could work and develop their ideas freely...but I couldn't think of anything concise.
What a profound moment. How could I not answer a very simple question about a dream I had been living with for more than twenty years?
Then it hit me.
I could no longer speak passionately about Modern Magic because I could no longer see things clearly.
I focused on the book. I would sit and write for hours, and when you put aside all the planning, drama, and bullshit...when you just let the inspiration flow freely, you may find that you are at your best. Writer's block, in my case, often comes in the form of being unable to think of something specific, which puts the story on hold for weeks, sometimes. What I learned to do was create a first draft and use placeholders to keep the story going.
I lost my job with Securitas (due to something unrelated) but I finished the competition. They may not mean much to someone who doesn't understand the daunting task of writing fifty thousand words in one month, but saving those gif files, and printing that certificate...that meant everything to me. After all this time, I finally understood why God put me on this planet.
I also understand the exhilarating, terrifying world of freelance living. I will make enough money from my client's novel to ensure that I do not have to go back to outside work this month. I wonder if God removed Securitas as an obstacle so I could at last come into my own. She continually praises my work and promises she has more on the way. I have won and lost enough contracts to get at least a feeling as to what the life promises. The question is; can I sustain myself, and two boys on it?
Yeah, I think I can...
I've begun to look up do-it-yourself publishers for my own novel which has "an interesting premise" I'm told. I'm trying to work my way past the fear of a slew of rejection letters--which I know inevitably are coming. Almost no one makes it big on their first book.
Then there's my tumultuous relationship with Samantha, which needs a final resolution. This is all I can say on that right now...
I'm a writer. This is what I do. Everything else will fall into place. God is with me and that's all that matters. My name is Avery K. Tingle, and I'm Here To Bust This Groove. ;)
Thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday!