A little over 19 months ago I sat down in a coffee shop with a good friend with an idea for a novel bouncing around in my brain. I couldn’t shake it. I had no idea what to do with it, but it was relentless. You see, I love a good story, kind of like a dog loves an endless supply of rawhide bones. In fact, I spend a good portion of my time daydreaming up such stories (that’s for another post) or combing the aisles of my favorite bookstore or library searching voraciously for another new tale to get lost in. I’ve always wanted to turn one of my many crazy daydream adventures into a novel of my own.
Up until that day, I had never really taken myself seriously enough to try. After talking for a bit over lattes, I blurted out this crazy idea to my friend. Before I knew it hopes for something grand began to emerge. My friend actually took my idea seriously. She was even excited about the idea and wanted to join me on the quest. (Here’s the friend and now writing partner who took me seriously…Aren’t we adorable…)
Neither one of us knew how this was going to work or if we would ever really finish it. But, the point is, we began. Because we believed in the possibility someone else could fall in love with this story like we were beginning to do. Now, after almost two years, over the distance of two different cities, and with the added challenge of having a full-time day job and my writing partner being a full-time college student, the first draft of our story is done (see joyous picture here…)
For me, that afternoon in the coffee shop was an act of bravery. Countless story ideas, dreams, babblings and scribbles lay hidden away unseen in notebooks in the top of my closet. The things I am most passionate about, I have a bad habit of keeping closely guarded. Only a rare and trusted few have heard me tell of these things, a whispered snippet in the break room or a random tidbit over a late night beverage. But this story was different somehow. This was my first to trust in the hands of someone else. The first to really take shape. The first to merge with the ideas of another creative brain. And the first of many more…I hope.
I’m not exactly sure I could decipher what made this time different for me …what ultimately urged me forward and decide to risk it. But I know one thing absolutely… it did something profound within this guarded, introvert of a girl. It proved that sometimes risk is an easier solution than continuing on closed up and shut down.
Sometimes, things long-buried, rise to the surface and demand daylight.
The last 19 months have been incredible and difficult and enlightening and surprising. We are both better people I believe. Blood, sweat, tears, laughter, and lots of coffee have been poured out. Two weeks ago we finished our first draft, all 98,000 glorious words of it. And now, the real fun begins in the revision stage. But the journey is far from over, in fact, these long months are only the first leg of what I’m sure will be an incredible adventure. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Anais Nin…
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
This quote shines in a new light for me now. For so long I believed it about other people. It’s personal now and encompasses what I’d like this blog to be about…Risk, courage, passion, the things that make me come alive and the things I’ve always been too scared to try. It’s time. I’ve spent far too long in the shadows. So, here’s to being brave….and telling some good stories along the way. Cheers!