Dear Journal: Writing Again

Dear Journal,

I’m writing again! I know what you’re going to say. I write every day. And that’s true, but what I write every day are my thoughts, in this forum. These are my ideas in my journal, some well-formed and others just small nuggets I will hopefully polish later. These are daily affirmations of craft, I guess you could say, and they’re therapeutic to me, but just as therapeutic, and maybe even more so at times, is when I write my larger pieces, the ones I don’t share on here.

Yes, I’m writing another novel, and it kind of fell out of thin air into my fingers and subsequently began typing itself out on my laptop this morning. Now it’s 3,679 words later, and the fetus is gestating in the womb. The genesis is leading the way to revelations, and I am in love with my new heroine.

What I love most about writing again is discovering these new characters, getting inside of their skin and walking around in these lives I’ve created for them. I love sitting down, putting on my Ed Sheeran mix, or my Paula Abdul jams, or the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack, cranking it up, and letting the words flow one after another. And each time it happens differently, the creation of something new, so I’m never distracted by what’s gone on before.

There was a time in my youth when I felt like I was meant to be a short story writer, that the tales I had to tell were always going to be limited by page space, but that’s not the case anymore, not by far. Don’t get me wrong. I will always love the glory of short fiction, of taking a character from start to finish in a mere 20k words, of wrapping it up and putting a bow on it just in time for Christmas. But there’s something simply magical about taking my time and getting to know a character inside and out, what the novel’s length allows, something mystical and breathless.

So now I have Christina, and she has me through this journey in my old hometown, walking the same streets I used to walk, but she’s not me. That excites me in a way that few things do. Yes, I’m writing again, and it feels so good.

Sam

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