|This picture has nothing to do with this post. I just thought you might want something adorable to look at.|
Let's face it. Working full time (and then some) doesn't always leave a lot of time left over for writing. Spraining your knee and being on sleepy pain meds for two months straight doesn't leave much time for late-night-after-work or early-morning-before-work writing sessions, either.
But sometimes, being forced to take a break from noveling can be a blessing in disguise.
A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of my forced break, I woke up one morning and BAM--the perfect ending to my novel popped into my head like it had been just hiding under my pillow all along.
At that time, I already had a novel ending roughly drafted. Two different endings, in fact. But neither of them had ever sat completely well with me. That glorious morning, everything fell into place. I knew what I had to do for the end of my story. Goodbye ending ideas One and Two, and make way for amazing ending idea Three.
Around the same time, another breakthrough occurred. For weeks I had been working on character sheets and background exercises to wrap my head around the people and places in my novel. It had been tedious work, and I'd feared it would never amount to anything. And then, something clicked. I began to hear my characters in my head, like I had with the characters from my long-term novel that I recently (and reluctantly) shelved. They started out with whispers, but their voice are growing louder every day. I know these people now. I hear them.
More recently still, I sat down and wrote out a one page summary of my current WIP, including the new ending. Everything flowed, everything worked, and everything was beautiful. What had once been a discouraging manuscript from a summer of forced writing had become a beacon of nerdy-wordy hope:
My novel can and will be amazing.
If I hadn't stepped away from it, all these realizations never would have happened. Draft One would've still been a scary, ugly thing that I wanted to hide away. But now it's not. Now it's just Draft One of what will become something much better.
I'm still working full time (and then some). I'm still on sleepy pain meds. I still have very little time between work and sleep each day. But somehow, some way, I will make time. I'm determined to get this novel out into the world.
This is my promise to the internet: I will have not only a revised, but fully polished draft of this novel by the end of April, if not sooner. I will use this blog to hold me accountable to that promise. Science posts will by no means take a backseat, never fear. My work-in-progress novel is tied directly into science, after all. But I do need some public place for me to check-in regarding my progress, so this will be it.
I guess the take-home message here is that sometimes, life gets in the way, and sometimes, that can actually be a positive thing for your writing. Our brains work in fascinating ways. Take advantage of that.