I wanted to be a writer when I was young, but I became convinced the train I sought had already left the station before I arrived. Where, I wondered, was the distinctive worldview I required to share profound insights and dynamic characters? How could I summon the profundities needed for a novel that would allow me to board the publishing train?
When I turned my attention to the internal train believing it was a quick fix I discovered it was more difficult to catch than I’d believed. Out of breath, racing along the platform, I ran as fast as I could to catch an unmoving train. Looking back, it seems logical that when I eventually boarded the awareness train I was someone pulling heavy bags, bags loaded down with bitterness, anger, self-loathing, and especially depression. No wonder it took so long for that train to reach the next station. No wonder, too, that it took this writer so long to write. I’d been pulling those bags all along. This sounds like a bad dream, but for me it was reality. Perhaps there are hard-drinking, chain-smoking writers out there who are buried beneath so many issues they couldn’t find the sun in the desert and still can write great prose. I’m not one of them. I needed to find me before I could honestly share and that meant first becoming honest with myself. Perfection is a train station none of us reach, but I have managed to reach the next station in my journey, though I’ve done so later than most. Too, it wasn’t intentional—at least, not at first—but I chronicled that journey in The Renaissance Cycle.
Yes, my little book of poetry is about a journey and more, though the journey is the primary theme. A themed poetry book? Yeah, it’s different and I’m glad now that I assembled it because it turned out to be my ticket to the fiction train. The reason is that I became whole during the process and that helped assemble the worldview I’d tried to force when I was younger. The bitterness, anger, self-loathing, and depression had given way to determination, hope, thankfulness, and happiness. No, I haven’t become a walking example of perfection, but these more positive traits have finally gained the upper hand on the negative ones. The worldview I required to power my fiction train finally had fuel. So, now I ride and watch the landscape pass, a landscape far more vast that anything I’d envisioned when I was younger. Yes, I had a vast imagination then as I do now, but now I look through that window and search for fairness, justice, and peace. Too often I see hatred, though, and my blood runs through a microwave. I witnessed the change firsthand mere weeks ago. The ending to Last Word Before Dying, my online story, was supposed to be far different than what I wrote, but my evolved worldview interceded. The ending I published was more a part of me and since there was a part of me in Shayleen…
For me, shedding the baggage has brought greater clarity and made it easier to see the how, what, and why in my storytelling. For me, the rails I rode carried me through awareness and forgiveness on my way to mindfulness, confidence, and happiness. For me, the journey happened when it needed to happen, when I was ready. Gotta go…the train is leaving for the next station. Are you at the station waiting for a train? Waiting for the wrong one? Don’t know which one you’re waiting for? Trying to write while carrying too much baggage? Think about it.