It really started with this past NaNoWriMo. I had so much fun writing Air Pirates, just letting go and doing whatever crazy thing popped into my head. Magic and airships? Sure! A steam powered helicopter? Why not! Kidnapped by evil wizards? Sounds like fun. Floating castle in Alaska? Yes! Every day I sat down to that story and it was a rollicking good time. I made other people jealous with how much fun I was having. Still, it was an exhausting ride, so I took time off from writing in December. Usually I take the whole month off, but I snuck in some work on Erik’s Tale around the holidays. In January I plowed through edits on Through the Fire, my demon novel. I’m still getting comments back from beta readers, but so far the word is that it doesn’t suck. I’m going to clean it up and submit it later this year.
February was all about Erik’s Tale. This is my most ambitious book, since I’m drawing very heavily on someone else’s work (it’s a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera). I was nervous, but I still couldn’t stop writing it. Then I talked to my beta reader and writing buddy, A. Her encouragement was (and is) invaluable to this story. Round about the same time I came across Dean Wesley Smith’s post on “Dare to be Bad” and I felt like I was getting exactly what I needed to hear. Dare to be bad, go for it, don’t worry so much. So I’m daring to be bad, and it feels wonderful.
Now I’m still working on Erik’s Tale and at the same time editing Emma and the Air Pirates. It’s like being sandwiched between awesomeness. These two stories have helped me discover joy, not just the occasional burst of happiness that a great scene or a character revelation gives me, but sustained joy. The pure joy of writing, even though it’s still hard work, even though I still have doubts. Every day I sit down and I’m so excited to write. My output hasn’t been huge but it’s been steady. If I go a day without writing Erik’s Tale I get twitchy. I need my fix, even a hundred words or two. And I keep rereading bits, not to nitpick or edit them, but because I LOVE THIS STORY SO MUCH.
I never want this to end. I want this joy forever. It feels like I’ve strapped on a rocket and I’m going for a wild ride. I feel momentum building, like the universe is on my side. Like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I am a writer, a novelist. I was built to create stories. I know it’s hard work, I know I’ll fail along the way, but by the gods I’m going to reach for the stars. This rocket is taking me somewhere, and it’s going to be great.