There was a time I thought, I will never not be writing The Founding of Josiah Turn. Never not. I think my friends and family shared that thought. I worked in fits and starts, beginning from scratch more than once and letting it languish more often than I care to admit. I captured ideas for other stories. I made copious handwritten notes for some. But I couldn’t devote myself to them because I would always be writing this one book. Always.
I resigned myself to the fact that I’d write this one book until the day I died. Fortunately, I outlived my resignation. Came the day I wrote the end and knew it was the end. Came the day I handed out the whole thing to perfect strangers as beta readers. Came the day I threw myself into a new story.
With surprising ease, I’ve abandoned Josiah in favor of a new story. A shiny object I now chase. I don’t (yet) feel that I’ll write the new story all my days, and I hopefully won’t get that feeling.
Stories are life. They are diverse and transient. In the moment, they may feel never-not, just like some real-life moments. But they pass. Shiny, new things come along. As do dark, gritty things. Some will feel never-not, but most will feel windy, wild, passing, glorious, torturous.
Oh, Josiah will be back with his cast of quirky, out-of-time folks. I’ll regard him again as my preciousss. He and his stories may, for a while, seem never-not. And then I’ll relearn how to tell a story. I’ll relearn how to write one. I’ll meet the end and know it’s the end. I’ll be glad it’s the end. And something new and shiny and dark and gritty and diverse and transient will catch my eye. And off I’ll go.
Because being a writer is living the life of never-not.