The IWSG has started offering up a bit of a prompt for people to include in their IWSG posts. This month’s prompt is just perfect for me to reflect on as I step into the last real month of summer.
“What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?”
–Insecure Writer’s Support Group prompt for August 2016.
I wrote a few different things as I was starting out, but there is one piece that I consider my first work as an aspiring writer. It’s the first real work that spoke to me, that pushed through me like it was coming from some other place. I wasn’t Allison, the teenager writing stories that I dreamed up. I was Allison, the writer, tapping into some place that doesn’t really exist, to tell the stories of people who may be made-up, but seemed extremely real to me.
That story hasn’t been published, it sits awaiting rewrites. Restructuring and reworking. I’ve struggled with it over the years, trying to discover the right way to tell the story – how to properly capture what is is the characters want to say. And it’s hard to do.
I’ve retold the story, gotten false starts and tried different era’s. I’ve attempted to place it in a fantasy setting, and a historical one. I’ve jumped narrators and point-of-view. And yet, I still haven’t found the right way to tell the story – I haven’t quite established what fits.
Though not actively working on that manuscript now, it is always there, swirling around in the back of my head. Just like the other stories that I have been working on. The current novel I am revising is going in a similar manner. I had it sitting – peripherally working on it — for nearly a year before I got the insight into what it was I had to do to make the story work (now it’s a matter of sitting down and writing it…).
Different works need different amounts of time to sit. Where as the current work-in-process has only had to sit for a relatively short time for me to figure out some of the sticky pieces, Hazel has had to sit for years… but I trust that someday the right way of telling the story will come to me — when I am truly ready to tell it.
It’s about trusting yourself, and trusting your story. Both very challenging things to do, but both so very worth it.
This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.
There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection! More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG.