Monday, March 10, 2014

A Shift In Direction

Life is about change.  There were times I wanted to write different things, and I have enjoyed writing several different lengths in a variety of genres.   I have spent the majority of my effort in writing nonfiction in general, and it has been delightful.  I have learned discipline, gained valuable experience formatting and thinking about both the moment and the big picture when it came to picking and choosing stories.  I was blessed to write for delightful editors who whipped me into shape and then gave me full access and creative freedom.  I hit some heights and did many things that made me proud.  I love all of the work I did, and the people I met while doing so.

However, having said that, I believe it's time for me to primarily go back to fiction writing.  Some editing and writing opportunities have come up, and they are all in fiction.  This is my first love, making things out of nothing.  Meeting characters in my head and getting to know them.  Figuring out why they're talking and what they are really saying.  I enjoy the hell out of political commentary but my roots are here.  It's what it is all about.  And it's time to go big or go home.  I can't split my energies between so many different things, and with a full-time job, school, the resulting homework, following politics, researching history, working on The Daylight Man, writing short stories and doing that little thing I call "sleeping" I find myself a little swamped.

This doesn't mean I will stop writing for Zandar Versus The Stupid.  I've written for him for years and I really enjoy his company and his audience.  A lot of my followers that I have gotten to know over the years hang out there, and I've met a lot of great people through comments that led to online friendships.  That is my nonfiction home and I want to give Zandar my best while we start to gear up for 2016.  There's a lot of work ahead and I want to do my part.  I may occasionally send a piece to a different source, but that's where the vast bulk of my commentary belongs.

The dawning realization of the need for a change in direction came right before something else captured my fancy.  A very talented person had an idea they wanted to share, and it has sparked something amazing.  In a few days of chatting, a firm story has formed and it's currently underway.  It will be out as soon as possible.  I would love for it to be on Amazon by the end of summer, but it's too soon to see just how big this one is going to go.  In the meantime, that is where the bulk of my creative writing is going.  Hang it all, I am in love with these characters and this will be a great transition project.  I'm getting back into that creative place, and it is nice.  I forgot how much fun a little magic could be, and the burden of plausibility has been lightened in this universe.  Anything is possible, and that has been just what I needed to get back in touch with my fiction self.  Thank goodness this person was able to share their ideas effectively, and help me when I was a bit rusty.  Reading is fun, but my God writing is better.  Collaborating has been both fun and challenging, and adds a whole new level of difficulty to the mix.

It's a big deal for me to put the brakes on the nonfiction for a while, but this really does suit me better.  I am no journalist, I am a storyteller.  Or at least, I like to think so.  When I think about my long-term writing career, I envision myself writing novels and making people believe in the people and places that bloom in my head.  I guess I'm just surprised the change in direction crept up on me, because I didn't realize I was there until I had been there a while.  I'm at the final push to making my dream come true.  I've spent five years building a diverse and specific list of accomplishments.  Now it's time to do a few short jumps back into fiction and push for the book.  I'm there.  I'm freaking there.  I'm terrified.  I'm freaking terrified.

The good news is, instead of waiting two years for a book, I'll have something out soon and a book coming out in two years.  This won't slow me down.  It's the door opening, taking me back to that place in my head where anything can happen.  I've missed that place, and I don't know that I can ever make myself leave again.