“Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.” Ray Bradbury
As many of you know I’ve started a new writing project. Yikes! That blank page is such an invitation, a promise of what might come. And yet, it can be the source of much frustration. I take a step into the world I’m creating, only to realize that it’s not that easy to build a new world, particularly when that world is 50 or so years into the future. What will life be like? Will the world change? How? Why and when?
I write down all the questions. I figure this will help dislodge some answers and move me, and in particular the story, forward. As answers come, I write on, going down sinkholes (read plot here) that sometimes work and other times don’t. It’s a brutal experience and sometimes I wonder why I do it. The truth is: I can’t help it. I have an idea that simply won’t let me be. If you follow me on social media or have heard me speak or met me, you likely already know this, but let me share a secret: I am a bit of an obsessive compulsive. Okay stop laughing.
Besides my inability to let go of something I’ve started, support for what I’m trying to do can come from other sources. It’s as though someone is trying to tell me I’m on the right track. Keep going. I might spot an article or perhaps a series of articles that reinforce the world I’m trying to create in my novel. Or I hear a piece of conversation or see someone that looks like one of my characters. Yes, I do listen in and yes, I absolutely do watch and follow. No, I’m not a stalker. I like to think of myself, as an observer.
My new project’s main character is inquisitive and curious. She’s a sixteen-year-old student who can’t understand why her country is divided by a wall. Her questions get her into trouble with the authorities. She’s threatened and her parents contemplate sending her away. How is this possible? She’s just a kid. I’ve pondered this question many times, then saw the following article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/30/indian-primary-school-faces-sedition-charge-after-play-about-citizenship-law
Again, a sign has come. I need to keep going. Yes, I’m still building wings, still living a life of risk, but I don’t know how to do this writing (building worlds) thing any other way.
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