Recently, my project has been a reasonably big source of stress in my life. The October deadline, my slow rewriting pace, and general uncertainty about multiple aspects of the project caused me to hide from my project rather than face it head-on. That’s not good; mainly because this is my dream. So, I will be taking this opportunity to remind myself of some of the good things about my book and the positive effects it has had on my life. Dreams require struggle, but the appreciation of positive elements is equally important.
I found the most enjoyable part of this project was the writing itself. I’ve always loved writing free-style and seeing where the story takes me, and the chance to devote hours every day to a single work was an inspiring use of my time and capabilities. The consistency and frequency of the writing quadrupled my productivity compared to anything I’d done previously. Spending time with my characters and watching them become new and engaging people energized me, exciting me to see where they would go. A chance to write and focus on a mainstay passion in my life is a solid source of joy from the project.
In terms of personal growth, my confidence has evolved in spades since I started. Because I lack many of the skills needed to present a book (internal formatting, cover art, marketing, publishing, even editing), I’ve needed to reach out to others for help. I’ve made contacts with artists, designers, other authors and people who work in the mental health field. My ability to talk to strangers has increased tenfold, and the more I explain my project to them, the better I come to understand and appreciate my work. This project has helped me to increase my self-confidence, my willingness to share my work, (a necessary element of authorhood), and my pride in my growing abilities.
My book has also helped me to understand the circumstances it is based off of better. It’s no secret that my book roughly follows real-life events from my life, and, in part, I chose to write this story to help myself process those events. Though the book depicts different circumstances and even characters to some extent, by talking to the people who are reading through my work, and the people who lived through the situation, I’ve come to understand my role as its storyteller. I am the person who learned the most from what happened because it highlighted where I need to grow as a person. Walking Sam through the events, and forming her thoughts and actions have helped me to understand my thought-process and consider how I could have acted better. Sam behaves as a mirror for me, highlighting the real emotions in the situation and demonstrating human reactions to it, positive and negative. Because of what I learned and how I grew, there is value in me sharing this story.
Throughout the process, there have been good experiences and stressful ones. It can be easy to forget about all of the good things because I feel trapped in the cycle of editing and deadlines. The confidence that I’ve gained, as well as my new understanding of my role in the situation, are worth the price of the work, as is the achievement of my dream. Dreams take effort, but when you’re committed, they end up being worthwhile. That’s what I’m going for.
Thank you to everyone who has supported my dream and for your endless encouragement.
Project Status: The rewrites continue slowly.