A year ago, I began writing a novel tentatively named “Uprooted.” It was a Young Adult novel about a girl who was raised pagan being called to live a life of science and logic, and her subsequent struggle to gain her family’s acceptances for her life choices. Oh, and all the while, the town is under threat from a supernatural attack and the only person who can save the day is the one who doesn’t believe any of it is real.
While this may sound like a rip-off of every Christian genre YA novel ever (Not that, as a heathen, I’ve read many…ahem) one of my favorite aspects of the novel was showing how, throughout history, things people have believed to be supernatural have turned out to have very rational explanations that can be explained by science. Therefore, things we believe to be “otherworldly” or “inexplicable” may just as well be perfectly natural; we just don’t yet have the tools and understanding to make logical sense of it all. So, paganism alone doesn’t save the day. Nor does science. It takes a combination of logic and magic to get the job done.
Whew, does that sound like a big bite to chew? Because it definitely was. I enjoyed crafting the world my novel was set in, and I loved meeting my characters, but the work I would need to do to make this all come together was more than I could have managed over the last year. I fell into my least-favorite four-letter trap: I was busy.
God, I hate being busy. How that became a source of pride in our society today I will never understand. Yet, I became a victim to busyness and, as with so many other writers, the work I did on “Uprooted” was shoved into a file, hidden deep within the recesses of my computer, and I just moved on to other projects. You know, like joining six different clubs on campus, directing a play, starring in a musical, maintaining a 4.0, and keeping up my fight against The Man. I’ve been busy.
The last half of summer was spent learning how to shift life into a lower gear. I have been working to plug in more at home, whereas this was previously just a place we passed through briefly on our way from the bed to the fridge to the garage. I’m pleased to be in a place where I feel comfortable nestling back into my head to visit the good folks of “Uprooted,” so that’s what I’m focusing my energy on this fall. I’ve taken a semester of from school so I can better focus on the things most important to me: my family and my writing.
One year after having begun telling the story, it’s time to finish. I have the clarity and strength this time around to protect my time and energy so that I don’t let this flashy thing or that shiny adventure distract me from what I want in my life. I want to re-immerse myself in being a writer. I want to finish this novel and sell it. I want to write another, and another, and another. I have a writer’s soul and I’m only truly fulfilled when I’m creating.