If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed me posting about a million updates on how the drafting is going. That’s because I’m trying to finish a book this week.
Ugh. You guys, how is it that I’ve finished approximately 17 novel drafts, and this is still like yanking my fingernails out one at a time using only my teeth?
Sorry. That’s gross. I must be thinking of the book that is to come 😉
I love this book. I do. It’s the radio roadtrip book I told you all about before, about the boy going to try and meet the grandpa he’s never known before he dies, and the girl who has an interest in everything but can’t keep the one thing she’s really passionate about – the radio station – alive, and the snowstorm that brings them together. I like the story. I think it dives deep into things that were and are really hard for me, about identity, and not turning people into idols, and sorting out your passions and dreams. I also absolutely adore my MC’s little sister, who carries a steak knife around with her and tells off everyone she meets.
But I had NO IDEA that writing a contemporary would be so hard.
When I get stuck, I can’t whip out a monster or a spell or a shifting of the earth’s gravity. Those are my favorite things, and they can be done both very well or very poorly just like anything else, and they are gone when it comes time to write contemporary, which I am. I have nothing but the beauty of the words and the strength of the story, and it is TERRIFYING.
Now that I’ve probably scared you all away from this book, and possibly from trying contemporary for yourself, I’ll turn right around and say – DO IT. If you’ve always written the same thing, if you’re scared of something different, then give it a shot. Force yourself to go far outside your natural inclination. It’s going to teach you things about yourself as a writer and a person, and about your writing. It’s going to reveal flaws and weak spots in your craft the way nothing else could. You need that something different to push you and take away your easy answers, so that you have to sit there and do combat with those words instead of using your usual fixes.
As hard as this book is for me, I believe in the story, and I firmly believe that I need to tell it- for the characters, for future readers, and for my writing. So this is your Monday reminder that no matter how hard it is, you must keep typing, and not matter how settled you are, you must keep expanding. Carry on, my friends. Make words that matter.