A Dozen Worlds

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You know what’s crazy about being a writer? Especially one with a full-time job?

The worlds I visit.

When I first started writing, I had one story.

One.

I had fragments of others, of course. But one ‘project’. One world that occupied all my time. The characters that whispered over my writing desk and tugged words out of my poor tired brain all belonged to a single story, and I liked it that way. It helped me focus. I knew what I was working on, I knew when to work on it, and I could devote my entire attention to one lovely, blossoming story that was growing bigger every day.

That was eight years ago.

Eight very long years.

Now my life is very different. My single world has split into many. I have a half a dozen stories sprouting up at my full-time job, all in different stages. Some are seeds of ideas, still needing a little sunlight, a little love before they’re ready for other eyes on them. Some are outlines, not quite blooming yet but sprouting up hurriedly, with lots of leaves and stems that will need trimming. And some—some have flowers.

But as much as I love seeing those half-dozen stories grow and flourish, they’re not the only worlds I live in. I have others too, books that are out in the world, books that are hopping back and forth between my editor and myself, books that are still trapped on my computer. Some of them are half-finished, others need a few chapters cut here, a section rewritten there. These stories get my love after my ‘official’ work is done for the day. When I can steal ten minutes or two hours out of a busy schedule. When I have a day off or a weekend free. When I can hide away, I grab my computer and add something to the growing pages. Five hundred words, or two sentences, a new character outline. Anything I can conjure up.

These projects grow very slowly. So slowly that sometimes I worry that I’m not making any progress at all, that I’ll never reach the end.

But I will. One day.

I have two stories like that just now. One with multiple books connected to it. Two stories. Two more worlds on top of a half-dozen others.

Then, there are the stories that live nowhere but in my head. No documents, no updated notebooks, not even an outline.

The stories that will be. The worlds that haven’t been created yet.

I have a dozen of these. Some of them are small still, just ideas. Some are completely fleshed out with characters and settings and plot lines that have never yet seen the light of day.

And they won’t.

Not yet. Probably not for years. When it’s time, I’ll dust them off and write that first word. That first chapter.

Until then, they’ll live on in my head. One more world to visit—when I have the time. When I can steal the minutes.

I live in a dozen different worlds at one time.

Occasionally I visit my own world too—although maybe a little less often then I should.

What kind of worlds have you been escaping into lately? Tell me about it in the comments!

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