When inspiration strikes at 10:30, you get out of bed and get to work. I haven't been very inspired lately, so I have to seize these moments. #amwriting #writer #halflife #writersofinstagram
A post shared by Abbie Lynn Smith (@abbiewritesx) on Jun 24, 2018 at 8:41pm PDT
Sometimes, as a writer, it is very hard to keep your attention on one project. I think a big part of that goes back to my writing origins. When I was fourteen, I discovered what role playing was (text based, you take on a character from a TV show, book, etc. and write like you’re the character). I played so many different characters across many verses. Over the last fifteen years (wow, I’m old!!), I have developed my writing from simple one-line responses to novel length stories.
In total, I have about six projects on my docket. Some of them are simple ideas scrawled out on a note card, or maybe a scene or two saved in a word document. Obviously, I have HalfLife, which has been sitting on my desktop for several months untouched. Then, there’s a fanfiction that is based off of a role play a friend and I did over the course of several years.
What has been so difficult for me is maintaining my focus on one project or another.
It’s like in order to avoid the hard work I have to do on one, I’ll start a new project or jump back into an old one that is still years away from being developed. Yes, I avoid it. I’ve been avoiding HalfLife for several reasons. It was only recently that I discovered why.
I’ve been through a lot over the last few years. In the course of this, I let myself believe that the ultimate goal to writing is to be published. I put pressure on myself to get this perfect or that just right, and that’s unrealistic. To put it simply: I lost the enjoyment of writing. I was no longer doing it because I loved it. I was doing it to put out a product that may or may not be successful in the world.
Let me tell you, when you lose the love for your passion, it becomes a chore. It becomes something that you don’t want to do. I never want to look at my writing as an obligation or because I have to do it.
The day I lose the love of writing, it’s all over.
I’ve finally found the enjoyment in it again. No longer is it about getting published for me. Yes, that is the dream. If it ever happens, I will be immensely joyful about it. But I had to find my love of it again. Without love of a passion, it’s no longer a passion. It’s like sweeping the floors or doing the dishes. That’s not what writing is for me.
Writing has been a big topic of discussion in my therapy sessions. We artistic types tend to express our trauma in our art. Writing has always been an outlet for me. A way for me to make sense of the things I’ve experienced. A way to express the things I feel without really expressing them. I’ve known for over twenty years that I wanted to write stories. And one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is that there is no time limit on reaching your dreams. I’d lost my passion, but I’ve finally found it again.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been composing a fanfiction and I’ve written over 30,000 words. This character is a part of me that no one ever gets to see. I’ve had her stuck in my head for years, just under the surface. Write me… she says. And until I get her story down, I don’t think I’ll be able to move back into HalfLife. I’m hoping to be finished with this by the end of the year, so that in 2019, I can start fresh again.
I have posted what I have so far of the fanfiction over on fanfiction.net. If you’re interested in reading it, shoot me a message.
I’m determined that I am going to finish the next draft of HalfLife next year. Whether that’ll be agent ready or not is yet to be seen. There is one thing I know for sure: I am going to enjoy the process.
As always, thanks for reading.