Where do you wish to make a fresh start?
I’ve been mulling that over in the back of my mind for much of the day. One thing keeps coming up more than anything else.
I wish to make a fresh start in writing fiction.
I wish to get back to where I used to be with it. I used to write stories just for my own enjoyment, without thought about genre, about whether it was an entirely original idea, about whether I was exhibiting high-caliber writing chops. I didn’t even concern myself with whether it was a short story, novella, or novel. I just wrote the story as it came. I immersed myself in that world, in those characters, and followed the story until I found an end. Then, if I really liked that world and those characters, I’d go back and re-draft.
That changed when I was a senior at university and decided to take a course in writing fiction for a grade my last semester. (Big mistake for me, being an academic perfectionist!) Then I felt I needed to at least try to please my professor. I was told I didn’t know what kind of writer I wanted to be because my portfolio for that class contained a serious, literary short story, a chick-lit short-story-bordering-on-novella, and the first chapter of a genre (sci-fi) novel. (I had due dates, and I had to work with the ideas that fell into the period between due dates.) By the end, I was left feeling I’d regressed, from something a literary journal might accept (if I shortened it and tightened up the loose bits) to straight-up genre (looked down upon in academic circles) fiction.
And it irritated me that I was basically being told I had to pick a literary box and get in it. “Really, why can’t you just tell whatever story comes? So what if a publisher would buck, pleading for you to do one genre because it’s easier marketing? Who says things can only be written with publication, at least by the same publisher, in mind?” I wanted to ask, but was afraid I’d come off as a smart ass.
So, now that it’s been a few years since that class ended, I’m finally almost ready to get back to the business of just writing…Just dropping into an imaginary world, watching and listening to my characters and writing down what I see and hear. I’ve had ideas streaming in recently. I wish to make a fresh start by acting on them, by writing those stories purely for the fun of seeing where they go.
Where do you wish to make a fresh start, dear reader? Write about it and join us in the wishing circle!