art, writing, writingfiction, writingprocess

The Journey Begins

The writing process for the manuscript of the first book in a series began toward the end of 2014. My start was crude, almost barbaric. The only things I had in hand were a PhD in philosophy and the general idea I needed to communicate. I had nothing on writing adult fiction.

Bits and pieces came, here and there, for characters and scenes. I had no idea how much detail to include, how to develop characters, how to connect scenes, any of it really. I researched what I could about writing fiction and tried putting my hodgepodge thoughts into something intelligible. Much of the journey was downright frustrating, because I wasn’t great at coping with some of life’s bludgeoning blows, and I had no clue what I was doing or how to write fiction.

But, some unexpected encouragements kept me going.  One occurred in the midst of an unfortunate accident that included me passing out, completely knocking out one front tooth and chipping another, and paying a visit to the oral surgeon. But, while the doctor was splinting my teeth, something that had never occurred happened. I flashed an image from a scene in my book. It was so strong and vivid, especially the bright blue and magenta background, that three weeks after I saw it, I had to paint it. And, here it is:

ButterflyWatercolorJan262015

Lily Chang © 2018

But, the writing journey ahead was tough. It was despairing and frustrating, at times. I had things to say, but I had no idea how to communicate it well. I attended my first writer’s workshop nearly a year later, and I walked away feeling like I had a super steep learning curve to traverse.

Fast forward to the latter part of last year. Still muddying through on my own, I revised and did as much as I could. And, another huge surprise came my way. An author, with some 125 books published, believed in my work so much that she saw me through to where I am now. I am about to conclude my eighth revision of the manuscript, with a few tweaks I want to do after that. Stay tuned for what’s next.

***

Why did I just share all that with you and what does that have to do with this blog?

I’m so glad you asked.

When we do life, whether in art form (writing, painting, taking photographs, singing, dancing, you name it) or in everyday tasks (working, taking care of kids, attending classes), we do best when we work collaboratively. Working alone can get someone only so far. But, we can do our very best, when communicating and working with others.

That brings us here, to this blog, where I hope to create space for artists to share what they have, encourage one another, and grow. And, I’d be kidding myself and you, if there was no mention of my writing. Of course, there will be some shameless plugs. I plan on sharing my process as a writer, artist, and person in the making.

Will you join me on this journey?

2 thoughts on “The Journey Begins”

  1. Excited to see you create this blog. Writers and other artists often feel the need for Creative Community most, but find the fewest real opportunities for it in the “everyday” workings of grounded existence, where those necessary things must get done — bills paid, lunches made, trips to store, doctor, mall and, yes, therapist or recovery group, must be entered into and then ticked off on the daytimer or cellphone digi-calendar. We need sanctuary, infilling, rebirth, wholeness — dare I say holiness? Your butterfly, captured against that blue and magenta background, is the symbol of our cocooning away, but doing so together. And not for the purpose of running way, hiding from life, refusing to face our realities — but instead, to re-emerge transformed, powerful, and, indeed, persuasive. Able to use our creative gifts and powers to invite others into transformation.

    Liked by 1 person

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