Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Collapse into Direction: inspiration & spark

This post is Part 4 of a series to augment the Author's Manifesto available for free download. Start with Part 1 here.

This and other inspirations of mine are gathered in the Spark Directory for you to explore.

Find my published stories and guides in the Books Directory.

In Part 1 of this series, I began writing my first stories. After joining some writing collaborations to share my tales with others, I surrendered creative autonomy to my writing partner, and unhappiness welled up in me. Storytelling, my joy and passion, now hinged on her continued interest.

When she felt ill or restless, our writing suffered. I felt adrift in creative futility with no shoreline. Remembering the quiet desperation of my ignored solo stories, I failed to work on them to fill the void. Instead, I obsessively tweaked the code for our online game, maxed out my sphere grid in Final Fantasy X, took up knitting and audiobooks - anything to burn time. I was sick, depressed, and overwhelmed by the pressures of my final college semesters.

Then my roommate and my mother staged an intervention, and my vision began to clear. The resentment from my pent-up creativity fizzled out. I realized storytelling came from within me, and I couldn't rely on anyone else for fulfillment. I saw that my gaming obsession was an addiction preventing me from writing my own stories. Squeaking through graduation, I returned home to figure myself out, and I began work on my Known World story again.

Check out this Author's Manifesto for more of my inspirations!

It was dreadful. As a college graduate, I read back through my high-school transcripts and cringed. There was no salvaging the ridiculous storyline; no amount of polish would eradicate the childish tone of those old drafts. But determined to close out the darkest chapter of my life, I hatched an ambitious plan. I would rewrite the entire story from start to finish and edit my new draft up to snuff.

When I wasn't at work, I drafted the first manuscript for my Tales of the Known World saga. My passion for writing flowered again, and I resigned myself to the fact that stories are best shared when finished. Determined to become my own cheerleader, I vowed to never again rely on someone else for creative fulfillment. My dreams of acclaim had to await the distant day when the book would be finished.

That's it for this post! Up Next: The long road to publication...

Download the Author's Manifesto here, or start your adventure below.

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