I am a writer at heart. Always have been, always will be.
I haven’t gone a single day without doing some sort of writing, whether it be chapters for a novel, or even jotting down a bunch of words I like the sound of.
“Lurking” is my favorite word. I love the feel of my tongue, gently sweeping my pallet, narrowly missing my teeth as I say it. You’re trying it now, aren’t you…tee hee
Sometimes, I’ll even sit with my computer, just staring at the screen…changing a word here, adjusting some punctuation there, not actually doing much of anything. But, I still consider that writing.
My focus for the last (all-my-life) has been children’s stories and full-length novels. The children’s stories are fun and quick. Usually a single page of poetry, tapping into my child-like imagination, like an adult playing at a playground. It’s exciting, being a kid again. Adulting sucks!
The novels are a whole other beast. They are very time consuming, and I do need to write them from the perspective of an adult as that will be my target audience, once I finally get around to publishing.
I’ve had many hiccups…well, more like beer-belly-belches along the way. Situations that set my writing back. From crashing computers to personal mental health issues that took precedence. I lost a lot of work and my will to continue writing. It always came back, the fire in my belly, but then something else would happen to throw me off course.
A Stressful Cycle
I’ve always aimed high with my writing. Publish a book or bust! Casual, just-for-the-fun-of-it writing has never really been my thing. Even though I TELL myself, this is just for fun, I always have a vision of that story in print one day.
That’s a lot of pressure
And sometimes, the pressure is too much. It’s discouraging, when you work so hard for so long, and nothing seems to ever come from it.
Not that I wasn’t trying…I still am. But some of those beer-belly-belches set me WAY back.
Example: My young adult fantasy. I worked on it for YEARS!! So much writing, so much research, so much thought put into each and every aspect. An idea would randomly pop into my head while I was at work, and I would be FRANTIC, trying to find a piece of paper to jot it down before I forgot. I’d use sticky notes, napkins, and even wrote directly onto my hand. Desperate times, right!
I was almost finished my first draft, a very long draft, one I would probably have to split into two books. I’m sitting at my laptop, feeling amazing. The adrenaline was surging as my fingers flew across the keyboard. Then, my dog runs by, catches the power cord in his legs and yanks it from the wall. My laptop did not a functioning battery, so it immediately shut off.
When I plugged it back in and opened the file, the entire thing was…dun dun dun…corrupted.
Before you ask, yes, I had a backup. I had copied the file onto a memory stick about two weeks prior.
I spent the next while trying to figure out how to recover a corrupted document. Even contacted computer repair businesses. Long story short…
Okay, fine. I still have the memory stick. So, I plug that sucker in, go to open the file, and BAM…corrupted. What the actual, flying, son of a…?!!?
Don’t ask me how that happened, because to this day, I have no idea.
Fortunately(?) I had emailed myself a copy about a year prior. Needless to say, it was not up to date….not even close. I was nearly finished, had maybe 2-3 chapters left, but I ended up losing 300 PAGES.
For those who already read my post, Why I Decided to Blog, this will all sound familiar. https://relaxitsallwrite.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/why-i-decided-to-blog/
Yes, I cried.
I spent another few weeks, desperately trying to recover my work, but it was gone. What a lob in the sternum.
At first, I tried re-writing, but it wasn’t happening.
I took a break, a very long break. In fact, I’m still taking that break.
What does this have to do with word prompts?
Time marched on. I worked on other things, with that loss still hanging over my head. But, I managed to get other writing done. Even completed a first draft of two new novels, but still found myself in an emotional funk. I felt no real gratification. I sent my drafts to beta readers who obviously gave me critique…when my heart required praises. What did I expect? I ASKED for them to tear it apart. But, it left me with a ton of work to do and I just wasn’t there yet.
I started a blog
“Relax, it’s all right”, a phrase I repeated to myself time and time again when life was unraveling. Thought it would be cute and clever to change it to “write”, to give other bloggers the essence of who I am, despite my blog not specifically pertaining to writing. It’ll get there though. Just dipping my toes at the moment.
I started my blog with a few posts…about my toddler, my mother-in-law’s art, sloths (not as strange as it sounds…well, maybe it is). And I would search similar subjects to read.
Then, I typed in, “word prompt”.
Where have you been all my life?!
I discovered these beautiful blogs with amazing writers, spilling their souls with off-the-cuff creativity and passion. I gave it a go. Received very kind responses. Tried it again. Another group of “likes” and encouraging words.
What is a word prompt?
Pretty simple. They provide a word or phrase, and perhaps a word count. And you must write a poem, prose, etc. relating to that word.
For instance: ESCAPE, 42 words
How do you escape your mind
When it follows you everywhere
It won’t let you eat, sleep, breathe
Without reminding you
The past is the past
You can’t change anything now
But your brain will never forgive you
Never let you forget
There are no boundaries when it comes to your imagination. And reading other takes on the prompts is very interesting and inspiring.
I’m picking up pace
This is EXACTLY what my heart and head needed…immediate gratification. (Does that make me sound vain?) After toiling for YEARS, I never received pats on the back or high-fives. But now, even a simple “like” sends me to the stars!
I have to give a shout-out to the two blogs who have supported me the most and have given me the confidence to continue:
https://adelectablelife.com/ – What wonderful prompts and encouraging feedback from Dale and followers
https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/ – My go-to!! Sadje is a superb writer, but always has the kindest things to say
What a creative release this has all been, and it has only just begun. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Every day is different, every prompt brings out something new in me. And this is just this is just the beginning!
I encourage anyone who writes or is interested in writing to search, Word Prompts, and see what starts to grow.