So I’ve had two novels in my head, both of them bursting to come out and yet, none of them could actually get out on the page.
It was incredibly frustrating.
The first one was about a girl living in a baseball obsessed town. She grows up with the love of baseball, until one day, something changes and baseball isn’t the same anymore. The novel was going to go back and forth between the present and the past, eventually ending at what happened, and why her love of the sport changed. I still want to do this, because I’m passionate about the story and passionate about the sport of baseball and its a story that I really want to tell, but it just wasn’t flowing the way I wanted it to.
Then I was also working on something that could best be described as a zombie novel but its not quite what you think. Its about a girl named Katy, who is living in New York when a virus hits, and it wipes out huge chunks of the population before anyone can figure out what is. Then suddenly the bodies of all the victims disappear, and the world starts to panic. Before you know it, the bodies are reanimated, and they hunger for human flesh. But they aren’t like normal zombies: they’re incredibly fast and intelligent, and there are too many to get rid of. The government decides to bomb the major cities, to get rid of the problem once and for all and Katy goes on the run with her dad, and the only boy she’s ever loved and hated at the same time.
Two great ideas right there, if I say so myself.
But NOTHING was working. I’d get on my computer and just stare at the screen. I honestly couldn’t do anything. I would try typing things but it just wasn’t happening. I was incredibly frustrated. I didn’t even feel like it was writer’s block. It was all in my head but I couldn’t get it out on paper.
And two things have really helped me.
First off, I was at the Los Angeles Teen Book Fest last weekend, and that was SO helpful. Meeting all these authors and talking to them, and hearing their stories of writing and how they tackle writing. One thing that really stuck out to me was something that fantasy writer, Cornelia Funke said…she writes all her novels in notebooks! And that SO stood out to me. I used to write all my novels out in notebooks before I had my laptop and I thought, well, maybe I should give it a shot.
And let me tell you, it has totally worked!
I went out and bought a notebook and I’ve been writing my novel, the sort-of zombie novel, in it ever since, and I honestly can’t stop writing. I’m on a roll and it feels really good. After feeling like you’re failing in the world of writing for so long, it felt good to just write. I also took advice from the other authors at the event, and have just been writing, not really focused on structure or any of that yet. When I focus on that, I lose the story and I get all stressed out about whether my chapters are long enough and that sort of thing. When I’m in my notebook, I just write, and its been awesome.
Then last night, I got another spark of inspiration. I was at a concert for one of my favorite bands, Story of the Year, who I haven’t seen in concert in about 8 years. It was such an amazing show, and I’m all bruised up and sore and EXHAUSTED from it. But it was fun. I discovered a new band (to me) last night though, a band called Set It Off. And right before they played a song, the lead singer shared some awesomeness with us.
His name is Cody and he had a lot to share. He talked about how he dropped out of college to pursue music, and that people didn’t always believe in him, and they didn’t believe that he could do what he wanted with music but that he kept doing it anyway. He was encouraging everyone to follow their dreams, no matter what people said, and that even if you fail, at least you tried, you tried to accomplish something that was important to you.
Then they played this song: Dreamcatcher, which you can listen to on YouTube here.
Now, I’m not saying that you should drop out of college. I’m not saying you should go to college either. That’s kind of a person-to-person basis there and I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone what to do in regards to their education.
But I really appreciated that attitude, that idea that no matter how crazy it sounds, or what people tell you, you should try anyway. I focus most of my energy on this blog and on my novel, not school and not work. Because THIS is my passion and my dream. And sure, maybe I’m going to fail. Maybe I won’t accomplish anything at all, but this is what makes me happy and I’m going to keep trying.
So I thought it was cool that he basically pulled the sort of thoughts I’ve been having in my own mind and it really made me want to yell out loud. Like, YES! YES, EXACTLY. Pursue your dreams, and stop listening to what everyone else says. The only person that matters is yourself!
So that was super awesome too. That has given me a huge spark of motivation and inspiration as well, and I feel like I could just keep writing.
So the whole point of this post is to say: that when you’re feeling like you can’t write (or whatever it is that is YOUR thing), you just have to find that motivation and sometimes it can come from the most random of places. I’m grateful for the amazing things I’ve been able to do this year, and the motivation that I know have in me.
Now I gotta get back to writing BUT I’ll leave you with a nice little quote from the novel I’m working on now. No guarantee that this will make into the final novel, but hey, you can get an idea of what to expect in the future!
Happy Reading and Writing everyone!