It’s been a month since I published a blog post. The last posts I wrote I was desperately trying to not fail NaNoBloPomo. Unfortunately, with 10 days left, I bailed on the month long writing challenge. A very busy weekend led to a couple missed posts which led to me dropping the project completely. And then subsequently not writing a single thing for an entire month.
Though I did not end up completing the challenge, I am glad I undertook it. I learned that blogging every day is hard and you need to find time to create plans and outlines to help make the process smoother. I learned that it may not have been reasonable to start up a writing challenge at the same time I was starting a job (especially one that quickly turned into full time hours). I learned that blogging every day, however difficult, is extremely rewarding. I learned that next year (yes, I’m already planning on attempting again next November) I need to go into the month with a more solid plan.
Perhaps the most intriguing lesson learned came from the day I undertook the completion of a writing prompt challenge. I learned that the character that had been recently taken up residence in my mind had more substance and shape than I realized. I was under the impression she (and her story) was wispy and smoke like with little definition or substance. I learned she has a name and a history. Desires and dreams. She has a world and a challenge. She’s far from solid and her future is still foggy and uncertain but she’s much more than a wisp.
I learned that I want to spend more time with her. I want to figure out her story and put it down onto paper, instead of confining her to the realm of short stories told to my friends and family. Or worse, trapping her inside my imagination. Ever since I wrote that brief excerpt of her story she has continued to haunt my thoughts.
I’ve tried to convince myself there’s not enough to work with. Her challenge is too trivial. There’s no convincing bad guy. There’s no path to resolution. She’s not strong enough. There’s no major purpose to the story. No moral to impart. I have nothing to say. What if I start and she fades? What if I start and I fail?
Ah, there it is. The real problem: Fear of Failure. That fear that gets in the way of starting something new. But wait. I started NanoBloPoMo knowing that there was a possibility that I may fail. “Yes, but Megra, you did fail NanoBloPoMo.” You’re right. I did. But I don’t regret trying. Not for a moment. I enjoyed the process. I learned things. I’m more prepared to try again the next time. I failed the challenge, yes, but not the experience. What’s the difference, you ask? I’m not going to let it stop me. The path to success is littered with failures. The key is to pick yourself up and try again. Because maybe, just maybe, this will be the time you succeed.
P.S. Yes, I am planning on writing more of Tori Anderson’s story in the upcoming months. I may not give you too many more excerpts but I’ll try to keep you updated.