Many times, I would read a book, or see a movie, and the character that would rise above every obstacle, no matter how difficult, and eventually win, always moved me. I always wanted to know what that truly felt like. To push further than I had ever dared, leaving all of my fears behind me.
Though I have many thoughts when it came to stories, none made it further than just that, thoughts. However, one day, I was compelled to go a step further. I do not know why this day, after all of my years, was the day that I began to write, nothing great mind you, but at least it was something. I wasn't concerned any longer, whether or not I was going to sell this piece of fiction. I was more concerned with completing it, from start to finish.
I had no expectations as to how many words, or pages, but I started and was obsessed with writing. As I wrote, I became increasingly interested in where it was going to take me. So it began, a character who worked his whole life, played by all of the rules, after several years sold his company and retired. Life sent him a younger woman, and all the rules he lived by changed.
Shallow, maybe, but I found the process fascinating, as the characters began to take shape. What started out in one direction, traveled in a completely different direction by time I completed the first draft. 75,000 words and 199 pages later, I learned to follow them one day at a time, and watched in amazement, as they evolved. When it was finished, I realized I have lived my life somewhat the same way. I live one day at a time.
I am human, I have made mistakes, but I can't change what has happened. The past is the past, the future, well I can guide it somewhat, but I can't live waiting for the future. The only important part of my life is this very moment. In my third book, my character development improved considerably. I had one character that carried the past around like a two hundred pound bag of rocks, and eventually it killed him.
Writing a book, or a song, is a process. Just like life, it is a process, and one that takes time to develop. It takes years to develop a craft, and if you work at it day after day, you can only improve with time.