I am a recovering control freak.
Whew, I feel better now.
Change makes things hard to control, so my motto was: “I don’t do change”. I even joked about it. Kinda ridiculous, right? I mean, what else is more common than change? It’s the only predictable thing in life.
But I fought it, clawing and scratching every step of the way.
While I don’t still feel that change is a roiling mass of evil, threatening life as I know it, I haven’t jumped in with those sickeningly perky people who proclaim “change is GOOD!”, either.
With the need for control and trying to keep life on the straight and narrow, that ugly specter of “Perfect” stuck to me like my own shadow. Doing things the “right” way (the Perfect way), was the only way to keep things in my nice, neat box.
Yeesh, what a load of garbage!
It was a recipe for disaster, which is what my life became. I’ve written about how I broke out of that debilitating mindset. So I won’t repeat myself.
So I eased up on my deathgrip of control and realized change wasn’t poisonous. Strangely enough, it seemed easier to accept change in the big things in my life: Deciding to write. Changing family traditions at holiday time. Accepting that my kids are old enough to do more stuff on their own. Opening up my writing to the public (aka “standing naked on my front lawn”). Deciding to set aside writing my current novel and begin a new one. Yeah. That last one is what prompted this post.
Well, folks, change is happening – right here, right now.
Some of my fellow Sideways classmates have been following along as I wrote the first draft of my first novel. While many of you wrote short stories, novels, etc. while taking the class, finished, and went on to revising, I’ve been struggling with getting even halfway through my story. So I’m starting over.
The setting is the same world as my previous novel, but the events take place centuries earlier in time. One reason for starting over is that, as I wrote my first novel, I realized the background events made a better story. Most of my pre-planning is now complete and my understanding of the Sideways lessons has improved. I was amazed at how much better I knew my story and characters this time around. (I could never connect with my main character the way I needed in order to tell her story – I liked my minor characters more.)
I’m working on plot cards right now, so fairly soon I’ll begin the actual writing. I’ve made the decision not to post my scenes this time around. While occasionally a comment on my first draft would surprise me, for the most part I knew the problems with it. Posting also became time-consuming because no matter how hard I tried not to, I couldn’t keep myself from doing a little polishing. (Perfect reared its ugly head, of course.) So – thank you!!! – to all those folks who supported me the first time around.
I’m taking that plunge into the unknown again.
This time it doesn’t seem quite so scary.