Sometimes when I am uncertain what I should be working on, what deserves my attention most, I reread all my first chapters. There are many of them. So many I don't want to count. And they are terrible. Well, not all of them. The one I am currently reading isn't half bad. Still, it feels as if I am drowning in first chapters and that is defeating. Even worse, most of my chapter ones don't have endings. A lot of them aren't finished. I suppose I can seek comfort in that. Perhaps I can simply call those ideas instead of chapters.
Ideas I have yet to invest time, energy, and love into.
I know a lot of writers. By a lot, I mean most of the people on my Facebook page. Almost all of them are people I've picked up along my writing journey. Now, I've been writing my whole life, but I don't actually consider my birth the beginning of my writing journey. I consider the year I finished Seeking Eleanor to be the actual beginning of my journey. The moment I actually started learning what it takes to write a book and be an author.
The year was 2004. I actually can't recall when I completed her for certain. I was working at Yellow Pages and letting Rebs read it chapter by chapter. We shared a cubicle wall. It was friendship at first rude interruption. She was super encouraging. I doubt the book would have been completed if not for her. This is why I promised her an assistant job if I ever hit it rich and famous. We all make promises we probably won't ever have the chance to keep.
Once Seeking Eleanor was done, I grew as a writer. I'd say flourished, but that is deceiving. Makes it sound far too easy. As if a little water and sunshine and, just like that, I became this wonderful writing flower. Wisteria. In reality, it was a struggle. There was so much I needed to know, like the rules, so I could make the conscious decision to toss them out the window. I've never been a rules girls. In the following months, and subsequently years, that followed, I perfected tense, learned about character arcs, figured out saving the cat, overused wordle, and recognized my lust for adverbs. Oh, and I have yet to plot a book out.
It's been a long road. Sometimes I think I should be farther along. You know, it's been almost ten years, and I don't have that traditional publishing contract. I'm not being paid to write. And most people don't know who I am. I'm a nobody. Chances are I will remain a nobody for the remainder of my life, and that's okay. The struggle is part of the fun, right? In the end, the self doubts and uncertainty doesn't matter. In the end, the publishing contract doesn't matter. In the end, not being paid to write wicked words doesn't matter.
Because I still love writing. And I think that's what counts.