This post is completely inspired by watching this video by Casey Neistat.

I've had a dream since I was a little girl. I didn't know anything about what it entailed, I just knew I loved books and writing some was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I wanted to write a novel.

It was a silly dream too, I reckoned. I wrote poetry since I knew how to write, and I thought that poetry would be it for me.

It wasn't. I wrote short stories since I was a teenager, but I'd never written a novel-length story.

Until my husband challenged me to do so in 2004. For NaNoWriMo. Because Neil Gaiman wrote about it.

I had so many excuses why I shouldn't.

And only one reason why I should.

That girl. Clutching a book to her chest. Dreaming of writing a big book like that.

I wrote 50.000 words in ten days.

Ever since, I told myself (and others) the book was bad, uneditable. But the truth is, I don't want to edit it. It's her book. It's for her. That girl. Even though I didn't realise it, I wrote a story to inspire her. Soothe her. Strengthen her.

My writing journey

Over the years I wrote about ten novel-length stories, finding my style, seeking the stories I love to tell. Becoming a better writer by unleashing the writer I am, usually fuelled by one idea about a plot or a character. Nothing else needed for the discovery writer that I am.

I have no doubt that I could edit some of these novels. I could make them shine, sparkle.

They were not the stories I wanted to tell though, they were my path towards them.

This is what the stories did tell me though.

First, and foremost, I wanted to write fantasy.

I wanted to tell a story that had:

  1. magic, in any shape or form.
  2. no big evil
  3. no big drama for drama's sake
  4. deep character work
  5. a main character who is older, and a woman
  6. a story that makes you feel so good when you close the book.

and 6. wasn't just a novel but something else too.

The dream can be challenging

I found the story that fits all of this just before NaNoWriMo 2023, and I wrote 20.000 words or so before I realised that something was missing.

I didn't go back to edit it, but I wrote new scenes, trying to find the something I was missing.

I found a part of it, but it didn't click yet. I gave my main character a family, but that didn't fit either.

The funny thing is that I didn't get frustrated or angry with myself in this time. I just figured out my story, let it come to me instead of forcing myself.

And then I had the idea.

I'm now getting ready to do a pass through the first 20.000 words, and rewrite them to make them consistent with what was missing. I know what I needed to tell this story. And I needed to give myself permission to tell it my way.

This isn't an ordinary novel. It's a story told in many ways, including poetry, because that is my first love.

The poetry I write for my main character though... Completely different from what I usually write (strange to say it because the character is mine hehehe). My most recent one has such amazing fire!

A quote from my statuslog

It’s funny how inspiration works. I was thinking about a bad time in my life where mirrors played a part, and I figured I could use it for my main writing project this year. I knew I didn’t want it to be a negative thing, though. I wanted it to be something beautiful, a cathartic moment for my character. I just didn’t know what.
Then this morning, I woke up, walked to the bathroom and a start of a poem plopped into my head.
I walked back to the bedroom, repeating the idea, and now there’s a poem in my project about a mirror and what the main character sees in it, and it’s so beautiful.
It’s time, this book needs finishing.

I'm right. This book needs finishing. This story is perfectly me. It fits me. This story is my impossible dream.

But you know what? Working on it each and every day, no matter how big or small my effort is, that's making it possible.