I started rewriting Hiraeth at the beginning of December but something was off.
I didn’t know what.
I thought that maybe it’s because I have a cold.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been going to bed between 11 and 12 every night and still having to get up for school at 8 (darn the homeschoolers, right? 😛 ).
But yesterday, I had an epiphany.
There was no meaning to the story. It was cute. That was it. Hiraeth was the first story I had ever completed and I was rewriting it. But there was no meaning, no depth, nothing to be learned from it. And that bothers me.
It all goes back to the very reason why we write.
We write because we have something to say.
I write for the people I’ve met, people I’ve cared about, people I never got to say goodbye to, people who I will never meet. I want to change someone’s life and open up new worlds for them and show them their broken life from a new perspective.
Essentially, I want to give them hope.
Because this is a messed up world. Suicide, depression, anxiety, drugs, rape, pre-marital sex, abortion, government corruption…
The list goes on.
But you know what? There is still a lot of good.
Go find an accident. Some calamity. Take the Boston Bombings for instance. Yes, people were hurt and dying, there was blood on the street. But that’s only the dark side. Flip the coin around and what do you see? Helpers. There will always be someone helping in the midst of pain.
I want to be that person.
So I wave, smile, and say “Merry Christmas” or “hi” to random strangers. You never know what battle people are fighting, so don’t be the one to judge and think they’ve got it made. I’m one of those people who will keep smiling when people are around but have a breakdown in bed at night.
Over the summer, I was really struggling. Like, bad. I basically lost all my friends. Most of them, I wasn’t even able to say goodbye to. It really sucked. I was depressed, growing up, lonely, had no one to talk to. I mean, I had my best friend, but we live so far apart and I’m not comfortable talking on the phone (it just isn’t the same as talking in person). Emailing wasn’t an option because I don’t open up to many people and I don’t like people knowing what I’m going through and our parents were monitoring our emails.
I was working at my dad’s small grocery store and I was really struggling inside. I wanted to just curl up in a dark corner and disappear. But this one guy walks past me and I smiled and asked him how he was doing and he said, “You’re always smiling! You must be a really happy person!” I wanted to scream and throw some cheese or sausage at him (that’s what I was fronting at the time) but instead I told him that there’s always something to be happy about.
I felt like the worst hypocrite.
In the end, I can’t just write “cute.” There’s nothing to cute. Nothing memorable, nothing deep, nothing to learn from it. And that’s really what writing is about: substance, important issues that are brushed off to the side, topics too difficult to talk about it person.
We have something to say. Let’s shout it.
What about you? Can you write “cute?” Or do you have to have some substance to your novel?
Did that make sense? I’ve still got a cold and I took NyQuil last night and I’ve been irritable since I got up. Though I did get to sleep before 11 which is pretty good! 😀