Sometime in 2014, I wrote a book.
It was not great nor was it moderately okay but it was 400 pages of my dreams and hopes. It was mine. I got feedback saying that it needed work. I edited, sent it out in the world, and the rejection letters, deservingly, came pouring in.
I wanted to burn the bridge so that I could not scramble across it and get lost, ever again, in between the slopes of my imagination.
Now, that time was not the greatest for me either. I was struggling in my personal life, trying to come to terms with growing up and conforming to a path set for me. Writing was my escape. I wrote short stories and poems. Started novels and never completed them. Those days were my lowest. In hindsight, sending out that manuscript was more to convince myself that writing was a pipe dream. I knew it would be rejected. I wanted to burn the bridge so that I could not scramble across it and get lost, ever again, in between the slopes of my imagination.
Long story short, I set the novel aside.
I tried to work on other things. I tried to seal the child I was behind suits and red-lined smiles but I was cracking. Pieces of possibilities and my potential flaked off while I tried to breathe life into a paper cut-out.
But the story never died. Instead, it morphed, spreading its seed into every word I wrote. I came back to the characters over and over again. I wrote their stories a million different ways, changed their identity, erased their world but still, the essence remained. A girl was still searching for her sister. A boy, himself. And unbeknownst to either, the world burned.
I brought out all 90,000 words today. I'm going to use all I have learned in the past three years to rewrite this story.
It might end up no better than its first iteration. It might get rejected. It might even be a dead end. I won't know until I've tried.
To anyone struggling out there, take a breather.
Pick up your writing utensil and release yourself onto that white space. You won't know until you've tried.
Again and again...and again.