W.I.P: Writer is Procrastinating

As most of you may know, my dream is to be a published, best-selling author one day. When I was in middle school, I learned that Christopher Paolini had gotten Eragon published when he was nineteen, and he became my hero. Over a decade has passed since then, and the closest to getting published I have ever gotten is way too many Glee fanfics on fanfiction.net. I write a lot less now than I did back then, but I still write. That’s one of the main reasons why I participate in NaNoWriMo every year- it motivates me.

As a by-product of all those National Novel Writing Months, I have several projects in process. Most of them don’t even have a completed first draft completed, but I wanted to tell you all about them. Maybe it will give me some drive or ideas on where to go with them from here.

I’m going to start things off with the trilogy I mostly finished while I was in high school. I say mostly here because the first two books were completed. I have no idea where the third one ended up, but I never typed it and now it is gone. Children of the Moon was my first real attempt at writing a novel, and the story is basically Percy Jackson has the magic system of Eragon. Now, I did not read any of Rick Riordan’s books or watch the movie that doesn’t exist until after I finished writing the first one. That was a bit of a shock. I just really loved (and still love) Greek mythology. It does have all the Young Adult components: chosen one, prophesies, love triangles, etc- and I still love the premise of the story. It just needs to be completely rewritten so it doesn’t sound like a teenager wrote it right after reading books with the exact same elements. Fifteen-year-old me had some weird ideas of how reality worked, even for a fantasy novel.

Butterfly Kisses was the one and only time I won NaNoWriMo. It was either 2013 or 2014, so I had all the free time of a college student. My main character was an accountant and a mother (I have no kids, so basically that whole part of the story was guesswork based on observing my own mom and other maternal figures in my life). Her own mother had passed away from cancer when she was very young, causing her to be paranoid about her own health. Main character ends up getting diagnosed with breast cancer fairly early in the story. I actually did a lot of research for this one, and it was only half-finished at the end of NaNo. The chapters were specific dates to show the progress of the cancer and how it affected the relationships of everyone impacted. I was really proud of it, but it didn’t really have a direction. I lost steam and just abandoned it.

One of the characters I have been writing for eons is my favorite pirate captain: Destiny Dalma. Her origin comes from a Pirates of the Caribbean roleplay that dates back to my early teenage years, and she is the daughter of Captain Jack Sparrow and Tia Dalma/ Calypso. She is my go-to character when I want to write something random, and I really want to put her into the Children of the Moon universe. Sea of Destiny barely got started, but Destiny is ultimately the one that hears the prophesy that sets the trilogy in motion. And, of course, I would alter her backstory to avoid copyright infringement. I may be a cast member, but that does not mean I get to do anything I want. You have to be smart about these things.

My most recent, and technically current, project is titled Golden Soul. I used the Skin the Cat! Writes a Novel method to plan this one out, and my characters laughed at me and said “Nope!” within the first chapter. The basic idea was to do something like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” meets the myth of Orpheus. Should have been simple. But now these is royalty involved and the earth reset itself but a task force in the underworld made sure that some information survived so humanity didn’t start all the way over. It’s now an almost steampunk era, but not really? Also, there are now some Jane Austen elements/ feelings involved? Yeah, I lost control of this hot mess. All I wanted was for Lucifer to fall in love with a violinist and she would have to win his soul with the gold violin he gave her when he had to return to Hell. Sigh.

So, those are my main works in progress that I am not progressing on. It’s honestly really hard to find the energy to actively work on one of them right now. Plus, TikTok and Reddit are very addicting, and I’ve only watched Hamilton four times. I’m trying to get better at having a set time goal to write every day, but it is very hit or miss. I even signed up for July Camp NaNo with a goal of 20,000 words, but as of now I am somewhere around 5,000. I know if I want to achieve my dream of being published, I need to get to work. Because I love writing. It’s one of my favorite things to do… when I actually do it.

Anyone else having the same difficulties? How does one overcome them?

A Not So Secret Secret

Growing up, I did not want to be an accountant. I was an English major, and I had decided that years before college (but after dissecting things in middle school biology made me realize I did not have what it takes to be a veterinarian). I wanted to be an author, and I had also accepted that my English major would probably lead to teaching.

More literally: I wanted to be like Christopher Paolini, best-selling author at age 19.

Spoilers: that did not happen.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I do not have the patience for teaching. Now, I knew that going into my freshman year of college, but I still enrolled as an English major with a concentration in creative writing. That lasted a year. My style of writing was just not a good fit for the program I was in, so I switched to Business and eventually Accounting.

Don’t get me wrong. I like accounting. I like math. But I LOVE writing. I haven’t put as much time in as I used to because of the CPA exam and working full time, but I still find ways to practice my passion. This blog is one of them. National Novel Writing Month is another, although I have not come close to the 50,000 words needed to win the challenge since 2013. Part of that is because I am a writer who uses a notebook first before typing, so it takes double the time to get the words into a word counter, BUT I edit as I type, so lose-win there.

I have a few novel-y projects in progress. I honestly don’t see myself ever seeing my dream of becoming published at the moment, but the stories I write are for me anyway. It’s one of the ways I like to escape. And who knows, maybe my current crap will be crap that someone likes (note: I think most of my writing is crap, even when others tell me it’s not. That’s how I get myself to improve).

Maybe one day I’ll have a panel at Dragon Con about the world I created and my characters. Gosh, wouldn’t that be amazing. I went to Brandon Sanderson’s panel a few years ago (another side note: Christoher Paolini was also there that year and I did not get in line early enough to make it to his events. So sad), and that was so much fun. How often do you get to hear from your favorite authors like that? If I ever become a published author, that’s the kind of author I want to be- open to fans and willing to talk to them about their theories and questions.

So, yeah. That’s my “secret.” Accounting is not my dream- writing is. I just happen to be really good at numbers and accounting pays the bills. And once I get this CPA thing done with I will have more time to dedicate to my dream. Lord knows I already have more than enough notebooks to use.