Back in 2007, I was a student at a California Community College near San Francisco. I had a straight B-average courtesy of working just hard enough to get decent grades, but not hard enough to truly be impressive. That’s kind of how I do just about everything. Anyway. I was looking to transfer to a University the following year. I had a few choices. I could have transferred to a state school in California, or I could transfer to a school in New Orleans. Yeah, you heard that right, New Orleans, Louisiana. I had been fantasizing about visiting New Orleans for years, but it had never panned out until that October in 2007.
During my visit there, I fell in love. The school thing didn’t work out after a semester for a few reasons, but something even more important happened after I took a leave of absence from school.
It was early 2009. I had been living in the city for a little over a year at this point. I was driving through uptown, admiring the beautiful homes than line The Avenue, and letting my mind wander. As with every other story I’ve thought up, I can’t tell you what exactly sparked the birth of the book; but I can say that I ran home and wrote down as much as I could. And from there an idea grew into a multi-book supernatural YA series.
This book, Anomaly, has been my pride and joy as well as the red-headed stepchild in my life as it is less than half done. Yeah, do the math—it’s been over two years since its inception and we’re not even mostly through it yet! Mock away. I have had many (many!) conversations with my friend, Brenda, about this book and my lack of progress in writing the damn thing. She, too, has been struggling in wrapping up a book that she began last year. However, she has some fifty thousand words written and is just a few chapters shy of completion. Brenda and I have mulled over this a hundred times, if not more; but neither of us can figure out why we just can’t finish our books. After a major outline reconstruction back in March, I hadn’t touched Anomaly in months. And then something happened.
I was at work the other day, and had a little downtime. I pulled out my spiral notebook and began writing a random chapter of Anomaly. I have since written two more chapters and going strong! I’ll be the first to admit that they’re very rough, and oftentimes written in shorthand. Sometimes I even write [DESCRIBE GARDEN HERE] in place of handwriting it all out; but I’m making progress!
So, I wonder, has the computer possibly gotten in the way of our creative spirits? While it’s great for networking; and who can really argue the efficiency of typing over handwriting large bodies of text—I worry that there is a cost. With spell check and grammar guides built into your everyday word processor, does the emphasis on “getting it right” effect a writer’s efficiency?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my computer and would truly be lost without it; but for now, I’m going to try going at this thing the old-fashioned way and we’ll see how it goes.
See ya tomorrow,