So during week three I got sick. Like super sick. The sneezing, aching, hacking phlegm kind of sick, that still lingers. Spring colds are the worst. One day I was so sick and bedridden, I didn't even have the energy to turn on my computer and write even one word. Instead, I watched season 1 of Mr. Selfridge while falling in and out of sleep. It was horrible and awful, and I hope I don't get sick for a very long time!
So my progress....
Week 3: 10,045
I have reached the halfway mark! Whoo!
Week three was all about growth for me. Expanding the characters and setting up the environment for them to grow and change. The character arcs are taking shape and I am so excited to see where they go.
In this MS, I'm dealing with a big and intricate cast of characters, so it's interesting to see how all of their lives intertwine and how they affect the trajectory of each other's arcs. There's one scene where there's a huge fallout between two characters that truly made the MC doubt herself and what she believes in. It's a huge turning point for her, and though she regains her confidence in the face of doubt, she finds that she's also changed from that moment. It's a good change, but also bad, as it leads to her letting her guard down. Which is awesome, because as a writer, I get to make things very bad for her. *evil laugh* Show me your mettle, MC!
I didn't get a whole lot of words written this week, but it's okay, because I found the quality of words made up for it (so nothing to trash this week, which is a relief).
So this past weekend I tweeted this:
Last week, I was all about the cooking and baking metaphors, this week I'm all about the plants. The image of a leaf sprouting from the dirt came to me this week because my basil seeds have finally sprouted! I have a tiny herb garden and I've been waiting for the basil to show that it's, you know, alive and not just wet dirt. It's exciting to see that vibrant color pop up against the brown earth, and it's the same feeling I got this week while writing.
I got to the point in this chapter where I was like whoa, this character man, she's so complex and my heart weeps for her, but she can totally stand on her own. It was the first time she popped on the page--as if to say, I'm real; take notice! From then on, she ceased to be just a character on the page. These momentous character turning points are like little leaves. And like a plant, more leaves will emerge from the stalk, growing and growing until it finally blooms. And man, I can't wait to see her bloom. She just has to get through all the crap I throw at her, but once she does, her perfume will be unforgettable.
Which brings me to another point about growth. I've been reading The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet & Fitness by Maria Menounos and she had this quote in the text: If you aren't growing, you're dying. This one quote really stuck with me and made me examine my life. When you think about a plant, it continues to grow, right? Because if it isn't, then it's dying. Shouldn't this relate to every aspect of our life? For example, if I'm not working on a story, or reading a book, I feel like I've wasted time that I'm never going to get back. I've lost the opportunity to grow as a writer and a reader. But if I continue to do it every day then I will feel better about my productivity and will see my growth as I progress. It's not about doing things quickly, rather, it's about doing a little bit each day. It's like the saying goes: 'to be a writer, you must be writing.'
This frame of thought has helped me this past week because it allowed me to slow down and not rush my writing. It also led me to think about my lifestyle. I always say I want to eat better, or be more active. I'm always up and down with it though. Sometimes I'll be really good, and then really bad and stop caring. This is an awful cycle. I get discouraged because I don't see immediate results. However, growth takes time, and if I don't respect that, I'll never bloom in the way I want to.
Think about aspects in your life where you can continue to grow. How do you feel when you aren't in constant pursuit of it? Do you ever feel like you're dying (figuratively) when you aren't working toward a dream or goal? Comment below if you'd like, or connect with me on social media via Direct Message. I'd love to hear your take on your own growth.