valentines day 2010, while working out in san francisco, i met a guy, and we clicked. not only did we click but i felt that this was the big one, this was the one that was gonna last. i thought to myself that finally valentines day was going to mean something to me, our anniversary. well, a little over a year later i’m no longer dating him, valentines day still doesn’t mean anything to me, but i do have an anniversary to celebrate.
something happened in the beginning of march 2010. i got an idea. an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. an idea that started to consume every free moment of my mind, convenient or not. so i wrote it down. and then i started to write a little bit more. and then a little bit more. suddenly i had filled an entire notebook with ideas. my idea had become something else entirely, it was now an imperative.
i am writing a book.
this wonderful moment of clarity came with one horrible realization:
i have no idea what i’m doing.
so for the next few months i read writing blogs, i read writing books, i listened to writing podcasts, but most of all i gave myself the space i needed to write. i stopped going out as much, i spent more time alone and to my surprise this was great for my work, but this was at the cost of my new relationship.
i don’t know how professional writers are able to do it. how they are able to balance the solitary life of authorship and the overwhelming life that inspires them. i would love to know how they were able to do it, because i wasn’t. over the summer, when i had all but resigned myself to working from dawn to dusk on the story, my relationship that inspired the initial idea ended. it hurt, as all break-ups do, but for the first time in my adult-life, a break up did not leave me broken. the emotions that i should have been putting into nurturing the budding romance had gone into my book. i had put the relationship on the back burner and focused all my attention on story arcs and turns of phrases. in order to give the book a fair shot i cut off the relationship at the knees.
i may have loved him, but i was in love with my book.
so time has moved on, i’ve moved elsewhere and my ex and i don’t speak much anymore, and in that time my relationship with my book has been anything but perfect, but it’s fulfilled me in a way that no other person can, at least not yet. i’ve often heard books called ‘labors of love’ and i now understand that. i’ve never been one to date more than one person at a time, and i certainly have not been able to love more than one. apparently this applies to books as well.
that’s why i’m celebrating my first first anniversary this year.