Continued from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4:
England’s Parliament building and Big Ben shot from the London Eye, in the rain (Photo: J. Noelle).
I told myself it would be best to take a short break from writing – just until I’d had a chance to settle into my new job and home, and establish myself socially.
That “break” lasted six years.
They say that love is blind. I’d like to submit my own saying: love can make you stop writing. Especially when it is unrequited love. For my time away from writing my novel did indeed involve unrequited love, as well as obsession of an entirely different sort, rivalry, a joking/not joking threat of getting shoved off a boardwalk, and is practically a novel in its own right.
I’m not going to discuss it in any detail, for though it was a significant experience in my life that would go on to shape many things to come and perhaps even still does, it’s not a part of my “story” that I wish to continue living and carrying around with me.
I will concede that it was a time that allowed me to develop other interests, skills, and facets of my personality. Yet my pursuit of all that stuff (not to mention “the guy”) was no less balanced than when I was deep in the throes of Obsessive Writer’s Disorder – writing nonstop during meals and when I should have been sleeping.
All that’s in the past.
This is the future.
Continued from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3:
By March 2005, I stopped writing Novel #1 exactly one page and one chapter away from completion. The three-year love affair had ended.
Or had it?
Continued from Part 1 and Part 2:
In late 2004, I had a revelation about the 900-page fantasy novel I’d been working on the past three years – the following two thoughts, in the following order: “I don’t think I achieved good integration of all the characters’ individual plots” and “This novel is getting to be awfully long”.
My first novel was a mess.
Continued from Part 1:
In early 2002, a professional editor of a fantasy magazine told me my writing was good. I would have married the guy if I could.
No nuptials were forthcoming. However with that compliment ringing in my mind, along with the one from my writing teacher back in 1996, plus a growing dissatisfaction with writing short fiction, I felt braced up enough to try my hand at writing a full-length novel.
Many writers are familiar with the concept of the Hero’s Journey, as elucidated by Joseph Campbell, which forms the backbone and structure of mythic narratives across all cultures, and strongly influences modern storytelling as we know it.
Every writer undertakes his/her own journey as well, beginning as an aspiring writer with an idea and a dream and setting forth in pursuit of becoming a published author. In this journey the writer him-/herself is the hero, facing all a hero’s necessary obstacles along the way. In effect, the writer is authoring his/her own life story while simultaneously writing the story of someone else, which is often the writer’s life story yet again, only this time in camouflage.
Author and activist Mary McCarthy wrote that, “We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are all the hero of our own story” (“Characters in Fiction”, Partisan Review, March/April 1961). This is the story of me and the view from here: my writer’s journey, thus far.