Saturday, January 11, 2014

On writing, and dreaming big

I never set out to be a writer.

I've always loved reading, so wanting to create my own stories came naturally. And I did make up my own stories over the years, when the mood struck me. But my first love has always been art - and since 2005, specifically watercolor paintings.

Art is who I am, and how I see the world. Which pigments would best capture the exact shade of blue of an Arizona sky? What kind of brushstrokes would best express the needles of a pine tree caught in the sun? When I see shadows on a white car, I study how the shadow changes from grey to blue to purple as it curves along the car, away from the sun. I live and breathe art.

So to keep a long story short (too late): although I've been drawn to storytelling for as long as I can remember, it was never my go-to mode of expression. Whereas art came naturally to me, writing has been a challenge. Oh, not the basic, high school English class stuff. But the nitty-gritty of plotting, structure and the like just doesn't come naturally to me. In a lot of ways, learning to write has been like rewiring my brain to function in Mandarin - utterly foreign to me.

All this to say I've never been the most prolific writer. Or the most dedicated, if I'm going to be honest. Many ideas have come and gone over the years - some I plan to revisit, some are probably best left in the past. In the spring of 2010 I got the spark of yet another idea, for the story that would become Last Night in Ghosttown. And somehow, my interest in it never waned. Sure, the writing always went on hold when I'd get inspired for another painting. But I kept going back to LNiG, and plugged away on it for over three years. My ultimate writing goal when I started my little novella was to finish it. (Nothing like dreaming big!) Despite a long journey filled with lots of self-doubt, hair-pulling and trips to the library, I finally finished it in the summer of 2013. And to my great surprise, I actually liked it quite a bit. Frankly, this was more than I'd ever hoped for.

So imagine my complete shock when I received an offer to publish Last Night in Ghosttown. It's so far beyond the scope of what I would have ever dreamed that I still can't quite believe it sometimes.

I don't know where my writing will take me next. There are far too many characters, and their stories, bouncing around in my mind for me to stop now. I can only hope that my next project doesn't take me three and a half years to finish! Talk about dreaming big.

No comments:

Post a Comment