A crazed and crazy time, the ending weeks of school. My eye tic returns, I disappear from the Internet, and when not working I gaze out the window at clouds and birds. Ha, would I pass a mental wellness exam? (Don’t answer that!)
Writing? I’m ready to kick that to the curb. I’d happily fade into being someone who, once upon a time, wrote an entertaining series of novels.
But school’s end also brings the What I Have Learned About Being a Novelist assignment. It isn’t formal, just ten minutes of in-class writing on the topic. And when I read these wise comments from my student writers, I’m ready for another round of chasing the writerly dream.
Well, one thing I learned about ‘noveling’ is what I’m doing right now—free writing. It’s the most necessary part of writing a story; the part where thoughts flow freely, spelling doesn’t matter, and you find out things about yourself, your story, and your characters that you never knew before.
Another leap I made in writing this year was discovering that every author ever was right—short sentences and limited adverbs. Things click. Characters become people. Words become emotions. Setting becomes home. Readers get a better picture by reading the smallest amount of well-placed words.
Finally, I relearned the joy of creation. I rediscovered how it feels to play god. The feeling of getting to know your characters, and how they stick with you all day—it’s one of the rewards I enjoy most. And to rediscover this (almost) every time I sit down to write, no matter how hard, makes it worth it.
Isaac is headed for George Fox University next year, but his long-term goal is to become a professional author.