(A letter to my protagonist)
In the words of every reality tv contestant and judge, what a journey. Two years ago was when your words went onto paper. Of course I realise you were with me much longer than that. You’ve been lingering around in my head for more years than I would like to acknowledge. It’s seems so silly now why I spent time with others before you. Stories and characters who never made it past a first draft. Most only had half first drafts.
I don’t know what it was that called me that day. Another attempt. I didn’t have much of an expectation. Unsure where to even begin. I was feeling nostalgic for another time. A time before social media, when to speak to your friends as a teenager you had to dial the home phone and risk speaking to a parent. No wonder we were all so paralysed to call boys. And in that thought, you appeared.
I had no idea what your story was, I only knew you and I liked you, a lot. So I trusted you and strapped myself in to see where you would take me. I fell fast. I couldn’t get enough, I was bouncing out of bed to sneak in that precious time before the rest of my life began. Those moments when the world was still, yet you and I were on the computer creating a frenzy of activity. It was hard to stop. Someone asked me the other day, when I revealed the number of drafts we had taken, aren’t you over it? No, I responded like a love struck teenager and I’m sure my eyes glossed over with that response.
There was something about you. Because you were the first character I took beyond the first draft. Oh, the apprenticeship began. You made me laugh and scream and filled me with so much creativity I felt I would explode. Then there were times I would stomp around the house shaking my hands to the ceiling wondering what was going on and what happens next. Because often you would stop, in dramatic fashion, to allow my subconscious to process and drip feed into my conscious. Then there was the time you made me cry. Physical tears ran down my cheeks and my heart ached for an event that didn’t happen in real life to people that don’t actually exist.
I know your story now and I have done the best I possibly can with it. I have planted some seeds and we need to step back and see if they will grow. Of course if not, we can plant a few more. But germination takes time and there is nothing we can do to speed that up. It is out of our hands. But I hope. My dream is that I may have the joy of sharing you and your story with the world.
For now I want to say thank you. For what you have given me. A belief in my abilities. I thought I knew writing, but I knew nothing. You taught me how to write, and how to edit and how to revise and how to cut out beautiful prose that has nothing at all to do with the story. Thank you for anointing me with the title of author. For reigniting a childhood passion that will not be extinguished. And that is really why we must take a break. Because there is so much more in the world of writing I want to explore. Perhaps I’ll get back into writing poems, with enough of them I could curate a couple of tomes. Of maybe I’ll try my hand at a children’s book, I’ve read enough of them lately it’s worth a look. Of course there are many more stories to tell and I feel I’ve cheated on you already with starting that process again. So thank you, for helping me find the joy in writing. For now it’s time to go and play with words and meet new characters. As they say on tv, it’s goodbye for now.