Upon reading the book Insurgent by Veronica Roth, I finally became upset. Since when does a teenage girl know anything about saving the world?! Tris, Katniss, Bella, Hermione… Give me a break. I was so dumb when I was a teenager. When I was 17 I told my mother that I wanted to drink and party as a career. Today, however, I have a career in the medical field and I am a mom. I’ve been to war twice and know a little bit more about “saving the world” than I did when I was a perky breasted young adult, washing the black X’s off my hands in the bar bathroom. (Cowboys in San Antonio, Texas have really good security BTW)
This realization is when I decided I would write something I want to read now, as a working mom. Where I can put myself in the clothes of the main character and say
“you know what.. I know this woman. I know her struggles. I know she’s gonna kick anyone’s ass who would try to stop her, because that’s what I would do.”
It’s as easy and hard as I thought it would be. My book started with just the idea of writing about a mom who persevered through a huge disaster (of which at the time had not been created). Then slowly, as I shared my general idea with people, it developed into a story they were actually buying into.
I know. I know. I should not tell anyone my ideas. But I am an EXTREMELY auditory learner. If I can talk out a situation, repeat directions, have an open conversation concerning an issue, I retain it. Though most of the time I just end up looking at someone in the face and talking to myself until I figure out the next step. Either way, talking through my book helps me develop the story. You’ll thank me when I’m done.
So here I am two months into writing and I’m 1/7 ish of the way through. My father, a self published author, keeps telling me not to count, don’t edit, don’t do this yada yada yada. On days I find it difficult to write, get through a scene, or have run out of ideas, I research various things that I might need to know later down the road. It’s also helped me shape things in the story. I never went to college and quite frankly, never graduated high school. Also, I’m not an ‘avid reader’ per say and am not versed in genres or anything much literary. Google, Pinterest, and Chuck Wendig are my friends (Chuck is not literally my friend, yet, but I read his blog for inspiration). People like my story. This makes me happy and confident that I am on the right track. That and I plan on paying someone good money to edit my shitty writing.
Like most thirty-something moms, I am a fan of OITNB. When the girls read Crazy Eyes’ stories and keep asking for more, that’s how I feel and it’s fun and invigorating. Makes me want to write more. Also helps with feedback like, “give this horribly annoying person one redeeming quality.” I did read this on Pinterest (another thirty-something mom thing) so I obliged.
All in all, it is a slow writing night. I average about 10 pages per writing session. These seem to happen once or twice a week. I’m stuck in a place where the story is boring/ I came up with some outrageous sequence of events that I am not sure if I can support throughout the book. We shall see. Also, I thought it would be neat for all my future followers to get a peak inside the head of the author of Apparent Power. If I can do this, you can too.
Dacia M Arnold
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Post-Script: 6 Years later and I am embarking on a new journey, to coach others who aren’t readers, or even necessarily writers, to start their own writing journey. I did some slight editing to this piece, but I wanted to leave it mainly untouched. I am the published author of Apparent Power, but I started off with an idea. That’s all you need.