Sometime last week, before my vacation, I was laying in bed around midnight when I a strong urge swept through my brain. The urge to get up and start writing. Not a blog or a Facebook post or anything like that, but a book! The story just started to come together in my head, and I just had to get my ideas down on paper.
I've had writing urges before, and they usually come to me at night. But, those urges are usually directed toward my blog. Something I want to get off my chest, or an idea that pops in to my brain for a topic of discussion. But this particular urge was different. It was almost as if I didn't get up right at that second, the idea would get away from me and be gone forever.
I got up, jotted down a few notes, and went back to bed with no problems. But, the next morning, the urge was back and it was time to get started. In fact, I spent half a day writing out the first two chapters into a journaling app that I have on my iPad. I was so excited to be writing, and the words and storyline were pouring out of me. When I was finished with my first two chapters, I went back to reread what I had written, and found that half of what I wrote was missing. Gone. It hadn't saved like it was supposed to. That was very disheartening and frustrating, but I decided to not give up and just find a more reliable app in which to do my writing. One that I could save the writing and access it on my iPad or my laptop. I finally found what I was looking for, and off I went again.
I'm sure all this writing business has stemmed from the fact that I've spent a lot of my time off reading. I'm a huge YA (Young Adult) literature fan, and in the few weeks I've been off I've already read two of the Divergent Series (almost done with the third), Evermore which is book one of the Immortal Series by Alyson Noel, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I just can't get enough of them. In fact, I'm making a trip to the library today to get the second book of The Immortal Series, and I even have a book waiting to be read on my Kindle reader that I borrowed. So, it's no surprise that the book I'm writing is YA focused. More mature YA, but not exactly an adult novel.
I have finished the first three chapters, and I am pumped and excited to continue.
I have always wanted to write a book. In fact, I've started several times over. I started a biography-type story a few years back, a murder mystery, and even dabbled with starting a weight loss motivation book. Of course, the last one would have been pointless. Although, maybe if I had kept writing the book, I would have kept the weight off that I lost.
But, none of those ideas really gave me much desire. I started without really knowing where I was going. I was stupid enough to believe that if I just sat in front of my keyboard, the story would just come to me. That's not how books get written, and I've realized why. You just have to know where you're going... what the plot will be, what the beginning, middle and end will look like. Sure, I write the story as it comes out, but I have a purpose and direction (now) when I'm writing. I know how I want to the characters to interact, I know what the big problem and solution will be, and I know how I want the book to end. All information that is VITAL to writing a book... or any story, really.
I have spent the last couple of years engraining this very thing in to the minds of my students, to write with purpose. It's OK to randomly write out thoughts and ideas in a journal format, but once it's time to get down to business, there has to be a plan of action.
I have no idea how long it will take me to write a book. I have no idea if it'll be any good. I have no idea if I'll even consider trying to get it published. I do know it's something I've always wanted to do, and I finally believe I have a storyline I'm happy with.
And I have a few more weeks to really take advantage of my "down time" and put my heart in to getting as much done as I can. Even if it's just a very rough draft, I want to at least get that out of the way.
I've read that some authors can take YEARS to write a book. I don't want to be that kind of writer. I don't mind it taking years to be finished, but I'm not taking years to get my story down on paper (or iPad). And, I'm not writing some kind of series thing. There will be no vampires, no werewolves, no kids dying from cancer, no wizards, and no kids competing against each other in a fight to the death. So, I guess ruling all of those things out means it might not be any good. I mean, it has to have those things to be good, right?
My story is simple, yet powerful. It's something that can happen at anytime. It's stuff that kids can actually relate to, yet still get warm and fuzzy with the characters. At least, that's how I picture it in my mind. Realistic fiction without anyone having to cry through most of it.
I love to write. I was born to write. Nobody else maybe interested in what I have to say, or think that my writing is any good... but it's in my veins. It gives me strength, it helps me tackle the deepest of my emotions, and in the words of my 6 year old "It's my most favoritest thing to do in the whole wide world!"
So, that's what's going on with me. That's how I plan on spending my time for the remainder of this summer. On my patio, coffee cup next to me, iPad on lap... for as long as I can stand the humidity. Then it's in to the pool for a cool-down session, and right back to it.
Man, I love summer break!!