Have you ever had the feeling like maybe, you are walking a tight rope, trying to balance yourself the whole way? Well that would mean for the past month we've been in the same place. For the past month, it feels like I've been precariously balancing on a thin tight rope. Between balancing school, working two jobs, and trying to keep up with people and things in my personal life, I haven't been able to do the two things that I love: reading, and even more importantly, writing.
Sure, I have been writing essays for my Advanced Composition class, plus short stories for my Creative Writing: Narrative and Advanced Creative Writing: Narrative classes, but I haven't been able to work on my one true love: my Falling Series. But all of that changed tonight when I opened up Scrivener and started working on Chapter Three of BOOK TWO. It was rough at first. I'm not going to lie about that. But then, it wasn't.
I think my problem boiled down to two pretty simple things. 1.) I was over thinking the writing instead of letting the characters just talk to me. I haven't spoken with them in so long that I suppose I forgot how smart they are, and what good instincts they have when it comes to their story. 2.) I was trying to make the writing perfect. There's that word again. This word haunts me each day, because I am a perfectionist. It drives me crazy when I can't make things perfect. I suppose what I needed to be reminded of (by my best friend in the Chicago airport!) was that if I forced the writing and tried to make it perfect than it would be "shit." And you know what, he's absolutely right!
Somewhere in the past month of people asking me about BOOK ONE and asking about BOOK TWO, I forgot the beauty of a first draft. I forgot that for right now, my eyes are the only ones, which will see what I am working on. I forgot that it's okay if the writing is awful, because I have the power to go back and fix it. And somewhere along the way, it must've clicked, because Chapter 3 is 11 pages and Chapter 4 is well on its way to being finished.
So what does this have to do with balance?
I think it all boils down to the fact that I have let my life get out of balance. It feels like I am tired (all of the time) and stressed (the majority of the time) and I wasn't quite sure what I could do to restore that much needed balance. Little did I know I just needed to relax, make a TO DO list, talk to my best friend, and write again.
It was that simple.
I hope I remember this when things get stressful and it feels like I don't have any time or any balance for that matter. So hello, future Kayla, remember to stop, and write. I have to say, and I hope you won't tell anyone, that sometimes I feel just as broken and lonely as my characters. Sometimes I just want to shut the world out and crawl into myself like an origami paper crane. And sometimes, I'm not sure what to do about it. But the fact of the matter is that all I really have to do is write.
For the longest time, I worked towards things, and sure I accomplished most of them, but finishing this book was the greatest feeling I've ever had. I did it. All by myself. And sure, it's not published…yet. But I know it will be someday, because there are people who believe in it just as much as I do. And because it's almost that time of year, I am so thankful for them.
To my mom and Justin, who I want to love this story just as much as I did. To Grant and Jill, who hate to read; I'd love to change that with this story. For Tony who can't wait to see this published and has no doubts about my future as a published author. To my BETA readers, the people who read this first and...gasp...actually liked it, I'm thrilled that I could finally share my book with you. And last, but not least, here's a shoutout to me, because I want to make my dream come true, and more than anything I just want to write. And if it turns out I am out of balance again, I hope I can remember this so that I can finish that walk on the tight rope and jump to safety.