If you do what you always did…
…don’t you get what you always got?
I could just write another novel. I could redraft (and redraft, and redraft…) it. Workshop it. Send it out. Collect a couple of rejections. Put it in a drawer. Start on another. I’ve done it before.
My first novel got a little attention. It’s the story of a teenage boy who believes he has a direct connection to God. One morning, he wakes to find his mother is missing and he gradually recalls his involvement in her disappearance. Two agents liked the beginning and asked to see more. When each, in turn, decided not to take it on, I felt wounded. But far down, miles under the sorrow, I was secretly relieved. I’d written by telepathy, hearing the protagonist’s voice in my head, even seeing him twice in the street. (More about that later…) I lived in his colourful, mythical world. Then he took me to a very dark place and back again. The experience left me spent. It was a truth. A truth that related directly to me. My self.
I wasn’t ready to reveal myself, my self. I’d put too many layers of ‘normal’ on top of ‘odd’ to begin peeling them away.
I got the idea for my second novel – a dystopian setting, a group of revolutionary women and more than a nod to Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ play. I laughed. I could already hear my new protagonist’s voice talking right to me.
Odd wasn’t going anywhere. I had to admit that odd just happens to be my thing. It might not be anybody else’s. That’s fine too.
I don’t just enjoy writing, I need it. This time, my story will have a life out in the world. I’m not giving up. I’m ready.