“It is, though. It’s a very big deal.”
A story can feel like a big deal. Sometimes writers choose their story ideas. Other times, the stories choose them. Well, what happens if you're not the right person for that story? What if despite all of your passion and desire to write it, it's just too much for you to handle?
UL has never been the right story for me, especially at the beginning. The idea seemed to come out of nowhere and was nothing like any story I had ever thought of before. Let's start with the fact that I thought I was done writing fiction. I was way more into poetry and hadn't thought of any new story ideas for a few years when this one came along. I'd never written from a male perspective, let alone a gay teenage boy's. Swears were a rare occurrence in my writing and sexual descriptions made me squeamish. It was weird and different, and yet I had never felt so passionate about a story idea in my entire life.
Of course at this point, I've been working on it for so long that it does seem normal, but that took time (and a stubborn muse). And I still don't think I'm strong enough to write it.
Let me explain. This is the kind of story that takes guts to write, and even more guts to publish. It's not a lighthearted story and it's not one that most people are going to respond to. I've already experienced negative feedback, and more than once. First, when I workshopped the original short story version in my fiction writing class, and then when I entered the novel into Pitch Wars. And this wasn't your typical "this needs some editing" feedback. People hated it.
I know this story isn't for everyone, and I'm ok with that. But I don't have the guts for the negative feedback. I take it hard. Super hard. I'm just a sensitive person. So why on earth would I be writing a controversial story like this? I really don't know. It's just that it popped in my head one day. I really had no say in it.
So if none of this is up to me, then who is it up to? Is it crazy to believe that the universe gave me this idea because it has bigger plans in mind? What if writing this story is just the beginning? What if there are other people out there who this story will affect or help? What if it leads to more--more books, a movie deal, who knows? Why am I asking you all of these questions??
If the universe does have bigger plans, what if I'm not strong enough to pull it off? I actually believe the universe sent me a sign about this, but that happened over three years ago. What if I've taken too long? I don't like to share the details because I feel like I'll jinx it, but there were just a lot of coincidences that lined up at once. I always thought I didn't believe in coincidences, but now I'm not so sure. What happens when time runs out on my dream? I don't even know how much time I really have. What if I can't finish?
I couldn't think of a picture for this post, but I immediately thought of a song that fits! So I'm going with that. This is a live performance of "Stray Italian Greyhound" by Vienna Teng, and this song definitely rings true for my mindset when I first started writing this story. And maybe it still does.
so what do I do with this/ this stray Italian greyhound/ these inconvenient fireworks/ this ice-cream-covered screaming hyperactive thought/ god I just want to lay down/ these colors make my eyes hurt/ this feeling calls for everything that I am not