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A good writing buddy is precious. It's the rare combination of a sympathetic ear, a cheerleader, and a friendly but firm kick in the pants. Renee has been that for me and more. The other day I called her up and we chatted about our lives and writing and how we both wish we lived closer together. She was about to get on an airplane when I asked if she would like to do a guest post for my blog. Like a boss, she wrote this on the plane and sent it to me a few hours later. Behold, the life of a published author:
It started on a purple couch with a dream, caffeine and a blank computer screen. It continued with fierce word wars, the pattering taps on keyboard keys with loud coffee slurps and furrowed eyebrows. It was the birth of my first novel. A novel that was more than just a novel. It was the dream that survived from childhood-the dream of a dyslexic girl struggling to prove that she was as smart as everyone else. A girl who had entire landscapes and characters and worlds to share if only she could get them out of her mind and on to the blank page.
How do writers write? How do they do it? I know that I can't speak for everybody but I can certainly say that I wouldn't be able to do it without my writing buddies, Naomi des Lauriers and Laurel Nakai. There is something about hearing their fingers moving across keyboards, a sound as many and plentiful as rain that really lets me know that I need to get moving already.
Now that I am on the other side of America, figuring out what I want from life on the desert sands of Las Vegas, I find myself stuck. So begins my writers block and a settling in to non-writing.
"it's so easy to forget what we are made of and what we can do when we are drowning in life's minutiae."
It's not that dreams die. They just get buried in responsibilities- those everyday things like shopping for food and paying the electric bill so that the power won't get shut off and keeping lint off the carpet. It isn't that those things are more important than passion, it's just that it's so easy to forget what we are made of and what we can do when we are drowning in life's minutiae.
There's something so necessary about having supportive people in your life. I was blessed to have the best sort of friends-the sort who believed in my dreams and supported me in the day to day fight not to give in to trivialities and time wasters, but to instead give to those things that I believe in and want most.
Stuck in the day to day grind, it's easy to forget what writing has added to my life. I shot my first gun so that I could know what it felt like and capture the experience accurately in ink. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and made Dunkin Donuts employees vaguely uncomfortable all in the name of art. It was all in order to accurately capture the spirit of the zombie apocalypse.
I remember when Hurricane Sandy hit in fall and the power went out, Naomi and I lit up hundreds of candles and started writing through it. I remember writing on line at the bank, on buses, in hot tubs, in food courts at casinos. I wrote on Laurel's couch so often that I sincerely hope that she never sells it as so much of my sweat and passion and coffee spills have seeped into the fabric.I am writing these very words above the clouds on a Spirit airplane.
"whatever it is that you love to do, do it."
Writing is an act of creation. It is taking something intangible from the hidden recesses of the mind then ripping it forth into the real world and down upon paper. I know that writing is not for everybody. For others it could be cooking, jogging, photography or gardening. I just hope that for every person out there, whatever it is that you love to do, do it. Do it every day, even if it's just for five minutes. Even if it's just for one. Because having that something adds a spice and a wonder to life that wouldn't be there without that individual take on the world. It makes me not merely exist, but live. So, from far away I'm holding on to my writing buddies and holding on to my dreams one word at a time.