"I can do it myself!"
Ask anyone in my family for a line to describe me and that one right there is it. Apparently, I used to repeat this line endlessly when I was a toddler. Even in reference to walking to school. I actually sort of remember that. When I was three and in montessori (that's kindergarten for the "special" children I'm told), I would stand outside our house with my mom not understanding why on earth she had to be coming with me when my school was only a few houses away!
Ah, toddler-hood. How little I've changed.
Today, the individualistic side of me that was just beginning to blossom then has blown up and taken over. I pretty much want to do everything my way. Tell me that's the way things must be done and great, I'll think, that's the way I won't do it, then!
In some ways, this mindset pays off. I've got a few events, for instance, lined up to showcase my fiction writing in ways I've never seen done before, which is pretty exciting. But in other ways... like, say, my writing itself it can be a bit of a pain in my own butt. Something I wasn't quite so aware of until..
Today. Because today I had coffee with the most amazing literary agent I've met yet (okay, I haven't met many, but she's just an amazing human anyway), and after she told me she liked my story's whimsical ways (yay!) she ended up asking me about the rules for this world I've been creating my baby book around.
HUH?! I thought I was writing fiction to escape the rules?!?
I felt stupid. "Um... well, so there's..." And then I proceeded to get flustered and sound as stupid as I felt (Sidenote, she told me using the word stupid is not so good. Good thing this is just a blog!) Okay, so, I wasn't at the point of feeling incredibly down on myself, but I felt silly enough to think, "Definitely should've sorted had this answer ready." You see, I have some 'logistics' problems in my plot because of my rule-hatred.
Seems as much as I intrinsically have this desire to buck all the rules I'm finally learning that sometimes rules are in place for a reason. Isn't that crazy? That I can be nearly 25 and only realize that now? My mum would be shaking her head if she was reading this.
After this conversation it seems so.. duh. If I want my work to be IN THE WORLD, as I do of course, and to have children not only understand my stories but enjoy them, I need to make sure I'm serving them above myself. And that means ensuring they get the greatest story ever! Which means colouring inside the lines a little more so nothing falls through the cracks. (Weird mix of metaphors. But I think it works.)
So now I am being a good writer child and sitting out and writing notes for myself to abide to. The best news? This is actually fun, too! I guess some rules can be.
And so my whimsical little tale WILL continue to be written, but following a few good weeks of solid planning and outlining.
(I had opened this page with the intent of writing something much more interesting and personal about a pea coat. Yes, you read that right, wearing one after a long time brought up a lot of emotion, seriously. But I shall save that for later as it's 9:06 PM and this kid's hungry for dinner.)
PS. I wrote this crouched like a bird in my chair at a public library, looking pretty goofy. Don't know why I had to add that, just did.