I am stealing this idea from Hailey Rose (who stole this from someone else lol).
You were totally unexpected in so many ways. You started out when I was digging through my friend Mikayla’s blog archives and found her Pinterest Mood Board for one of her stories. I checked it out, and I came across the picture of Brett. I saved it to write flash fiction from, along with several other pictures.
Then Camp NaNo rolled around in April 2019. I was going to rewrite my 2018 100-for-100 story, but I gave up because I couldn’t figure out how to make a decent mystery. It was too much work. So I decided to do the easy thing (and get rid of some pics) by writing 31 pieces of flash fiction, each 1,000 words.
Right away my plans were changed. I wrote over 3,000 words on a short story inspired by my father’s sermon; then I began my original plan. I wrote one 1,100+ flash fiction and then prepared to write a second one. As I scrolled through the pictures, I fell onto Brett’s again and randomly decided to start with this one.
So I began to write. And it wouldn’t stop. I kept on. The story went on and on and on, twisting in ways I had never expected. Another flash-fiction-inspiration picture that I had saved was worked in, and then another. The story went on and on.
You were such a breaker for me, Chords. You pulled me through my highways word-count and went on. You ended up being a mystery, which I only dreamed of writing. You also ended up with so many quotable sentences—another thing I could only dream of. You also were heavily dialogue-driven. I used to avoid dialogue. Now, I loved writing it. The whole month I was astonished and elated by how the words just came poring in. I passed my daily goals easily. I went ahead of my Camp Goal. I only got stuck for real when it came towards the ending—and I had no idea how to end you. Some friends offered to read you and give me feedback. I was discouraged by how messy it was and I gave up. Every once in a while, I mentioned it and how discouraged I was over it. In March, a friend offered to read it for me. I woke up the next morning to a whole bunch of fangirly comments and sweet compliments. I was so grateful and happy. My story wasn’t all bad. I wanted to work on it again.
I kept putting it off, though. I didn’t want to have to figure out how to end it. I puttered around with it and did work a bit on it. But I mostly ignored it.
Then, randomly, during Camp NaNo in July 2019, I decided to work on it. I opened the manuscript and started to write. And the words started to flow.
I was amazed.
The story went on. It passed my 40,000 goal. It passed my dream—45,000. I was so astonished and happy.
You still need work. You’re still super messy. But you taught me things, Chords. For years I struggled because I could only write flash fiction. I felt like I was a worthless writer because I could never reach 50,000 words. I struggled with self-pity and depression. I fought tooth and nail for my writing time and got emotional when it was threatened. Then I gave it up. It became a hobby, not a career. And this year, I was blessed. My dreams came true. I wrote a novella that was just 4,000 words shy of a novel (more or less). I had fangirls and writing friends. I even got huge compliments—including a published author asking me to publish a short story I wrote. A friend wrote amazing synopsises for me—the kind you see on a professionally published book.
This was a year of learning, of blessings, and of change. You did a lot in my life, Chords. I hope that you can touch someone else’s life. That would be my ultimate dream.
You taught me that dreams do come true—when it’s the right time and it’s what God wants for you. I am so blessed and humbled to have been able to been on this journey. I'm so eager to keep on working on you—and to see where you go.