I’m taking a break today from updating about the challenge, even though it’s still not going quite as well as I would like. I have managed to update the next chapter of Beatrice, as I promised, but otherwise I’ve been struggling with it a bit.
Mae is the thing that’s been proving the most difficult. I’m still really excited about the idea and I love the feedback I’ve been getting from it. Not that that’s the most important thing but when I’m struggling, it helps to make me move forward. To feel as though I have something I can move forward with.
So I decided to branch off a little bit and do some research into similar things to what I’m hoping Mae will be. This has mainly involved looking for stories that are so sweet they’ll rot your teeth, and for the original inspiration for this story, which was Ouran Highschool Host Club, an anime that continues to be the thing that makes me the happiest when I consume it. I want Mae to be like that, to be something genuinely joyous when people read it, but even with a joyous playlist, I’ve found it hard to keep that feeling throughout what I’m writing.
I’ve also divided my time amongst several projects, because I could be legitimately insane. So not only am I hoping to make some serious inroads into Mae, but I’m also working on another more serious project, which I’ve been working on for more than a year now. This blog has even become an offshoot of that project, so it’s had a big impact on my life. I don’t want to say that it’s my magnum opus but its certainly something about which I’m very passionate about.
Still I find writing it, finding the words for it, can often be emotionally draining, which is why I started writing Mae. I wanted to write something joyous on the side so that not every word that I was writing was something so deep and meaningful that it felt that I was bleeding the words onto the page. There’s a place for that when writing, but passion shouldn’t always equate to a struggle. It’s certainly not the reason I ever chose to write in the first place.
In fact, it made me think about why I started writing all those years ago. Why I sat down to write Beatrice back then. It was partly a method of therapy, to give me an outlet for the anxiousness I was feeling about another big project I’d taken on. Something that I’d thought I was ready for but then became so much more than I ever imagined it to be. Beatrice was an escape from that.
Writing is a wonderful way of being able to express those thoughts that you can’t quite articulate when you’re speaking to someone. The words you can’t quite find to explain how you’re feeling or why you find comfort in a talking cat. But it took a lot of time to even find the right words for Beatrice. Even now, I’m editing and changing the story to make it more of what I want it to be now, to be the story I always hoped it would be long before I could put the words to paper in that way.
So I’m going to do something I might regret, but I think it’s important to do this. I’ve had lots of conversations with people lately about writing, about how it takes time and effort in order to be able to do something that people look at with your words. Not even to stand out, but to make them spend some of their time reading the words that you’ve written. That it’s taken me many years to become someone who’s sometimes happy with the words she writes. There are often days where I’m confident that nothing I write is any good or worthwhile or that I can claim any knowledge of the English language.
Hence, we come to this thing, which I’m confident I’m going to regret. Many years ago, before Beatrice was Beatrice, I started writing a story. It’s bad, really, really, really bad. But I want to show you where I came from. How this all started for me.
How my words evolved.
London called to me. Unlike other cities which had beckoned me forth with siren calls, dazzling me with the beauty of my surrounds. No, London called to me like an old friend, familiar. I came here time after time because I knew what to expect. I relished the experiences that were afforded to me here.
I stood gazing at the window before me, the iron frame solid and unsophisticated. Yet the light that streamed forth through the ancient glass heightened the scene so that it was truly ethereal. I found myself captivated by the intensity with which the light bore through the window towards me. The projection it created on the surrounding stone walls was a mosaic of the original, distorting it to new proportions before my eyes. The illuminated section of stone was still cool to the touch, and smoother under my hands than I was expecting, worn down through the ages. I imagined this resulting from others like myself, running their hands along the stone, captivated by the sight before them, each of us hoping to add an earthly quality to the image before us.