Writing in the Dark

Most nights you can find me propped up on my elbows as I type away on a laptop which sits on a small folding table beside my bed. Pop music flows through my earbuds as my fingers dance by the light of the keyboard and screen. For a few hours I get to be in my own world and develop story lines and create conversations between imaginary characters. Sounds fun, right? But the best part is, I get to do all this in the dark.

Who else can say they have a job they can do in almost complete darkness? (Okay, so maybe writers and engineers do have something in common.) 😉

It dawned on me that writing in the dark has grown from being a literal process for me to a figurative one as well. There’s a quote I came across that explains this:

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While some authors like to map out their whole book ahead of time, I prefer to (in my short stint thus far as a writer) go with the flow. (I wish I could say I’ve changed my perfectionistic, controlling ways, but I think this spontaneity is due more in part to laziness!) As I write, I have a general idea of where I’d like the story to go and fill in the details as I head in that direction. I’m discovering that as long as I stay true to each character’s personality, I can find his/her motivations for doing and saying things and develop the storyline accordingly.

What I’ve come to realize through this process is that while people are complicated, they are also predictable. We tend to stay on the same road we’re used to traveling, especially because we live in the “dark”, seeing only one day at a time. We rarely consider changing our ways due to a fear of the unknown. It’s only when something pops into view in the glow of our “headlights” and grabs our attention do we realize we need to slow down, swerve or switch lanes.

I’m all for those attention-grabbing moments of life because that’s when change occurs in a person’s heart and mind. That’s why I love writing about internal makeovers and second chances on this blog, as well as in my fiction books.

Yep, I typed the plural form of books because I’m currently working on my second novella. Somehow, by God’s grace and the fuel of caffeine, I have been cranking out a story in the wee hours of the night for the past seven months. This time around, however, the process has been much faster and easier (for the most part) in comparison to the first time. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I’m a tiny bit more experienced. I don’t find it so intimidating to put words down because I know it’s better to have something written than nothing written at all. I’ve also learned how to navigate around those bumps in the road (aka. writer’s block) and what to do to get those creative juices flowing again. Most importantly, I realize that if I persevere and keep my foot on the gas pedal and my eyes on the lit path before me, I will eventually arrive at my destination.

I’m on the last stretch of this book, which features two characters (Ben and Melanie) from my first book. I’m even more excited about this story than my first one and, oddly enough, actually want people to read it! So, stay tuned for a cover reveal in the next month or so! 🙂

Now, take a listen to one of the pop songs I’ve been playing on repeat this week, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You”. It features Tom Hanks (Wilsoooon!) as the lead in the music video!

What life experiences have you been through that have been similar to driving in the dark?