Writing wakes me up to so many things, here’s a few.
Do you write to wake up?
And no, I don’t mean in the morning. Writing in many ways shines a light on the parts of yourself that you didn’t even notice. And the lessons that come with being a writer also tend to shine a light on your flaws, whether it be procrastination, perfectionism, or fear. The entire process proves many things that you are not.
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
― Octavia E. Butler
While it may shine a light on what you are not, it also shines a light on all the things you’re capable of accomplishing. I’ve been working on my experimental fiction novel for over a year and I haven’t lost my fire. I’m nearing the end of my second rewrite so I will be transitioning to focus more on development of worlds and characters. Which is fun but new worlds can feel daunting. Anyhow, it feels good, the fact that writing my novel got me through one of the hardest times of my life and I’m still going with as much or maybe even more motivation as when I started. I’m a long term commitment type of person. I like friends from childhood, I like memories, and I like to have a family growing beside. So I’ve learned, writing this book is a wonderful addition to my existence. With all that being said, writing has awakened me to a trust in myself that no other occupation has gifted me.
What’s more is that spending time with my characters has really helped me look inward. I often ask myself, would I do that if I was in that situation. If the character does something I never would, I sit with that character and calculate each step which makes me realize, I’m not different from the villians in my story. Thinking about my writing, even with significant amounts of solitude, connects me with humans around the world.
“‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.’” — E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
The writing process isn’t the only thing that wakes me up. The community I’ve gained while developing myself as a writer is a huge part of the waking up process for me. I’ve joined writing communities on every platform and I feel at home in every single one of them (except for maybe tumblr). The writing community is a culture I wish everyone could be part of. The communities wake me up to a million things; genre preference, what I’m capable of, walls worth breaking down, and grammar rules worth accepting. But my all time favorite aspect of the writing communities I follow is that I am enough. Whether I have typos, unfinished work, 10 followers or 2k followers, they are there cheering me on on every platform.
Waking up to who your are and what you’re capable is one of the most valuable things you could do while you’re breathing. I wish with all my might that someday this journey will pay our bills. While I’m traveling there, I won’t forget to reach out to other writers, to look within, and I definitely won’t forget to celebrate my milestones. Let’s keep going, shall we?
Anyone moderately familiar with the rigours of composition will not need to be told the story in detail; how he wrote and it seemed good; read and it seemed vile; corrected and tore up; cut out; put in; was in ecstasy; in despair; had his good nights and bad mornings; snatched at ideas and lost them; saw his book plain before him and it vanished; acted people’s parts as he ate; mouthed them as he walked; now cried; now laughed; vacillated between this style and that; now preferred the heroic and pompous; next the plain and simple; now the vales of Tempe; then the fields of Kent or Cornwall; and could not decide whether he was the divinest genius or the greatest fool in the world.
― Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Just a little note:
If you’re a writer looking for writing groups to be part of, reach out to me on Instagram at @jayne_press and I’ll try my best to guide you in the right direction. Happy Awakening fellow Writers.