I always had this fantasy I’d create these amazing characters for my novels. I’d pull out of my ass all kinds of fascinating things about them! I’d have the perfect characters! Larger than life! They’d be perfect and astonishing in every way. All my characters would be so fascinating. So original, so full of wow factor, brimming with life…
What a ridiculous motivation.
I’m getting really into an idea I’ve been working on since Fall 2013. Only, to be honest, I haven’t been working on it all this time. It’s been sitting on the back burner for six to eight months.
To be even more honest, I have been beating myself up over that too — like every other writer filled with guilt and shame. What are we? Living charmed lives in which everything is taken care of for us? Are we independently wealthy with maids and people to manage everything from our laundry to money? No. We are real people with real lives. Do we sometimes go days, weeks, even months without working on our creative projects? YES! Should we feel bad about that? NO!
I’ve been busy all year doing something I felt very compelled to do. That took precedence over this. I started my own business as a Reiki Master. It’s called You Deserve Reiki in Wichita, Kansas. I rent a little room (still under construction, like most of my life) at White Dove metaphysical book store/yoga studio at 2947 E. Kellogg. I’m there Tuesdays noon-4 and Wednesdays 3-6.
I also work a “real job” or what I like to call my “corporate job” because it’s an honest-to-God full-time job with benefits. I have a desk and an office and everything.
So that’s 50 hours of my week right there.
No, I am not going to whine that I am too busy to write. It would be a great and valid excuse as I am finally blogging here after six months only because I am on vacation and carved this day out to be a “me day.”
I am glad I have been working on other things besides writing all this time because now I am going back over the rough draft of the idea I was passionate about and realized why it had to marinate a while. I wasn’t ready to write it. But now I am. You see, I was going to create these perfect knockout characters. They were going to be flawless once again, like every other idea I’ve began. But now they are not going to be like that. Now I see deeper into their layers and into the themes of the story I am giving birth to. I am getting to know these characters, these bitches with ulterior motives! Oh, I love and hate them at the same time. I see their flaws now. I see beneath their surface and can’t wait for the reader to do that too.
I wasn’t ready to write the story yet when it came to me last fall. But I am ready now. Now I know without a doubt that I have to “go there” with this story and make it dangerous. The characters are telling me that is their truth — that they are dangerous.
Do your characters talk to you too? What do they say? How do you get to know them?
~Heather Larson, Writer and Reiki Master