Flash Decisions

I had a good writing day today. I made it to my word-quota in a flash and I can’t tell if it was the fact that I was running on coffee and good intentions or that I had just managed to make the biggest decision of my short life in under twenty four hours. Adrenaline is a beautiful thing, though–very much in the manner that my coffee does– after the effects wear off, you crash hard, which is what I’ll probably find has happened when I sit to write again.

I’m at that stage in my life where each fork I meet on the road to tomorrow could change the course of everything– whether for better or worse is irrelevant; the idea is that there’s no going back. I got lucky; I have a pretty stable home life, and the milestones that everyone says are the stepping stones to adulthood have passed by without so much as a flicker of excitement. I did what I was supposed to do, and that was that.

Except what I was supposed to do apparently wasn’t what I had chosen. And so over french toast and fruit at a lovely restaurant with my dad, the infamous fork appeared on the horizon, and though there were a few trees in the way, by that afternoon the forest had cleared and BAM, there it was. It wasn’t that there was anything chasing me; there was no reason to jump into things, but a combination of anxiety and elation at the opportunity led me to making one of my first ever “rash” decisions. (You know, because writing books for a living is a sensible choice, right?)

It doesn’t matter what the choice was, but I’m still riding on its high. I’m sure it’ll pass when everything I forgot to take into account floods in to my head, but for right now, it makes for some great writing inspiration, or rather, motivation at least.

Writing tip #1: Make big decisions quickly. Then, pop open your laptop before you calm down and work on whatever projects you have going. Great progress is made when the mind is busy, or at least in my situation.

I’ll let you know how much I get done when I start wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. Don’t try this at home, kids.

I feel another story coming on.


If I’m Going To Waste Time, I Might As Well Do It Here

Welcome to the twenty first century, where instead of beginning diaries and giving up after the first three entries, we start blogs and eat up URLs only to abandon them later on. I myself have attempted three. The first was launched when I was in the tenth grade and thought it would be hilarious to start a joint-venture with a good friend at a slumber party (we made a painfully cliche post about body image and left it at that). The second made a short appearance during the summer following my graduation from high school. At that point, I was riding on a wave of hormones and nostalgia so high that I could have passed for the fifth member of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants heading into university that fall.

If you’re reading this, (bless you, stranger) then you have managed to stumble upon my third attempt at keeping up something serious. Now, this thing isn’t a diary exactly; it’s more of a log book, so if you’ve already begun rolling your eyes at the thought of having wasted forty seconds scanning the thoughts of an eighteen year old, relax. It isn’t that sort of blog. I will not be describing angsty situations with my non-existent boyfriend, who will not be mentioned again, not even if he steps out of my imagination and into the vast realm of “IRL.” I will not be dishing out any juicy secrets, or teaching girls how to contour their faces with mineral highlighter (what does that even mean?), and I will not, I repeat (in capital letters, no less), WILL NOT be writing fanfiction because that stuff scares the hell out of me.

I will be keeping track of what has become a very large part of my life as of late. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a story-teller. My mother still has some of my earliest works (four page epics written in crayon on word-processor sheets and construction paper) stored in keepsake boxes above her closet, for heaven’s sake. Creativity is in my blood. Before I could print, I performed, dragging others into the worlds that I had created with an insistence only a three-year-old could be capable of. Eventually, when I discovered that pencils didn’t go up your nose and could be used to keep stories locked in place, I began writing them down. When other kids were telling their teachers that they wanted to be astronauts or lion-tamers or President of the United States (because even in Canada, that seems to be the coolest job in the world), I was imagining myself sitting at my desk with a tea watching the sun come up over the final pages of my first novel.

And now, that image has become my reality. I never expected to seriously want to write one. I mean, every teenager today wants to be the next Stephen King; hearing someone say that they’re writing a book isn’t exactly a rare occurrence. Hell, I even tried to do it at fifteen but got bored a hundred pages in. This time, though, The Big Idea has wormed its way into the corners of my brain, and it won’t go away. It’s massive, it’s lofty, it’s The Big Kahuna. This is it. The story that’s been building up in my head for years has decided to make an appearance, and my goodness, is it ever huge. I think, like the blog situation, the number of those who have attempted to write something like this is great and many have left their work unfinished. I don’t want to fall into that category. I’m ready to squeeze into the smaller, successful margin.There’s something about the magnitude of this idea that makes it seem different (says everyone, ever). This isn’t just a hobby anymore. This is my life.

I started writing with the intent to publish eight months ago, fitting in small intervals of plot here and there in between term papers and exam prep, unable to contain my excitement for summer because it meant that I had time to write the whole thing down from start to finish with no distractions. Except, now that summer is here, the list of distractions is not only endless, but self-created. I’m like the Queen of Procrastination. I’ll write a sentence and reward myself with an hour of Twitter or video games or another person’s novel. I’m one hundred and twenty two pages into this baby and I just don’t have the attention span to keep it up.

If you haven’t figured out the significance of this blog title by now, let me spell it out for you: I really should be writing that book, but instead I’m screwing around on the internet, doing things that will get me nowhere. One can possess all of the God-given talent that they want, but success won’t come to them unless they work at it, improving their skills by practicing their art. I don’t just want to be a writer; I want to be an author, and I’m not going to make it to that point if I don’t start working at it in earnest. So, out of a massive session of frustration and self-loathing, came the decision to turn my work-induced ADD into something productive. If I’m not working on that story, I’ll be working on getting my thoughts somewhere for someone to read. This blog marks the first day of that mentality; day one of “The Great Journey Toward Authorhood” (I promise, that’s the last time I’ll make up a word). In it, I’ll be writing about looking for agents and researching publishing houses. I’ll be recording struggles and triumphs and talking about my experiences as a young writer in over her head. Who knows? When I make something of this (I’ve decided to eradicate the word “if” from my vocabulary) this blog could become a tool for people like me.

I just have to write that damn book first. Wish me luck.