I think it’s safe to say that I will not succeed at my goal for writing thirty-one stories in May of 2012. I choose my words very carefully, however, as although the original aim was not accomplished I do not consider it as a failure. I have learnt many things during May, including that of finding the time to prioritise and enjoy my writing time. It has allowed my imagination to open up and attempt writing things I never even considered before, surprising me in the process. I realise now that I can just begin to write and often my inner muse will take over and somehow bring the words around to make sense to me, to inspire and motivate and create something I did not envisage when I set out.
I do have twenty-two stories, or beginnings of stories, that I can now work on and flesh out – allowing me the luxury of learning a new skill I don’t think I’ve ever really used before: editing. Typically I write something and then, that’s it. There has never been any reason to go back to it and play around with it; once the idea was translated into words I thought my job was done. Far from it. Now I am looking forward to the experience that comes with critiquing my own work and taking that step back to allow me perspective and really shape those ideas into something readable and special. Identifying themes and defining character in finite terms will help me to understand the craft of writing better, and will allow me to, hopefully, really understand my own writing techniques, style and preferred methods.
The challenge this month has also illuminated a concrete realisation that the novel I was writing had stalled because I have overcomplicated the story. I took on the Story a Day challenge to get away from the troublesome concerns I was experiencing in relation to the last of my challenges: the novel I began during NaNoWriMo. Yet, here I am at the end of the month I planned to spend away from it, thinking about how to move forward with the story and understanding that my reticence, originally interpreted as writer’s block in March and April, was actually my inner writer screaming that this was not the story I set out to write! While I still have no clue as to where the story will take me, I now know that I have time to explore and develop a much simpler path that I will feel more comfortable writing which will fit better with the theme of the novel: and who knows where that might lead?
June should be an interesting month with lots of further lessons to learn about who I am as a writer and how I can improve my own writing as a result of past experience. Most importantly I have discovered that I do believe in myself as a writer – as cleched as it seems, writing regularly really does make you a writer. So, here’s to discovery…without which I would still be stumbling alone in the dark rather than enjoying the sunshine with my muse.