I have wandered away from the Publisher’s Pathway and found my way to the sandy shores of the Sea of Despair. Today, the sea offers no threat to me. I laze on the shores with my feet in the water enjoying the sensation of the gently lapping waves. It is a time of reflection and as such the gentle waves carry my thoughts across the seas and the lands that I have travelled.
I must remain alert for this moment of reflection leaves me prone and open to the demons and if I allow them entry within my thoughts they will churn the gentle waves and stir the calm sea into the frenzy of despair that can drag you down into its depths and leave you drowning. But today, I am in control. I have come to realise and accept something important about my journey along these roads.
I have learned to distinguish between being alone and/or lonely to being different.
How can I be alone or lonely travelling along a crowded highway? I talk daily within a group of 80 plus like-minded people. I have become part of another similar group with over 120,000 members all striving for the same goal as me, so how can I feel alone?
Each and every person travelling along the Publisher’s Pathway travels their own way and at their own speed. Many join together and travel part of the way on a communal bus like vehicle such as NaNoWriMo (National Novel writing Month). Many, like me, travel alongside such vehicles supporting the people inside and watching with interest without jumping on board. Others follow the regimes of the 1,000 words a day without jumping on the bus but simply as their personal discipline. All agree that a “writing habit or ethic” is a vital part of achieving success along the Pathway.
I cannot work to a 1,000 words a day discipline, it simply does not suit my way. I write my novel in chapters and each chapter represents a short story in its own right. I have the added advantage of being able to leave some loose ends as I have the benefit of an ongoing tale. However, if I write a chapter a week or a chapter a month it doesn’t matter – it is how it best suits my writing habits.
I spend a whole week at a time, sometimes longer, plotting my next chapter, adding and honing in my mind, drawing from my daily experience to add texture to the characters and then, if Reality permits, I have a weekend to enter the world of that chapter. I immerse myself in that world and bleed my soul dry of the characters’ experiences and happenings. Then I close down the word doc and banish it to the novel’s airing cupboard where it settles itself as a newcomer in amongst the other chapters.
The other big realisation is that every new written piece is my best piece – until – the next new piece.
I need the stimulation of completed works alongside the big canvas of my novel. Short stories and competitions are the outlets I have chosen to satisfy this need. They may be a distraction and sometimes I may lose a weekend’s novel writing time fulfilling this desire but they also keep me motivated and fresh. The experience of each new written piece can only add and enhance my writing skills, which will ultimately benefit my novel.
This works for me. I need not live up to others expectations in my quest, I need only to satisfy myself. I can watch and learn and admire the alternative ways of others but if I choose a different way it does not mean I am alone just working differently.
The light is growing dim and the early winter sun is fading. I pull my feet from the gentle waters and make my way back to the Publisher’s Pathway and I am smiling. I have sat on the shores of the Sea of Despair and not allowed the pull of the waters to drag me down. I have dispelled the demons and drunk the from the wines of reflection.
I think I am finding my way.