I’m admittedly new to this author adventure. So, I’m learning a LOT along the way, so very much. Sometimes I learn what not to do by doing the wrong thing and realizing that did not work. I’ve decided that writing a book is a lot like living your life. Here is what I mean.
I had a lot of down time as I drove about ten hours yesterday returning from a mini-vacation in Florida with my girls. We enjoyed ourselves so much and even though it was very windy, enjoyed our time on the beach. It was so windy that there was a good bit of sea foam. There were dragon kites being flown and kite-boarding being enjoyed. The wind is a powerful force. It can move the water, it can lift a person off the ground if they capture it, it can also, suddenly, change directions.
My daughters both slept a good bit and the van was quiet and I began to think about my current book that I’m working on. It is the second of a trilogy all of which I’ve already written in first draft form. As I contemplated the rewrites that needed doing and the changes I wanted to implement, I came to a startling conclusion. I need to completely change the ending of book two. I am so fond of the way it ends at present that this is a big deal for me. As a matter of fact, it’s the perfect ending to lead to the third book.
So, why am I rewriting it? Because the winds have changed directions. Because I’ve decided to include a fourth book which must be inserted between book two and three. This changes everything. This means a lot of work. This means extra effort, rearranging, going back to the storyboard, remapping, etc. I don’t have to do it, nobody can make me do it, I choose to rewrite the ending so that I can expand my story. If I am to include this fourth book, a rewrite is required.
Ok, not sure if you followed all of that, it doesn’t really matter if you did or not. Here’s the point I want you to take away with you today as you read this.
Life has a way of demanding rewrites.
Just about the time you have it mapped out in your brain and rather counting on things ending up a certain way, WHAM! Out of no where, things go awry.
I bet you that almost immediately a moment came to mind as you read that. Maybe it was a grievous loss of a loved one. Perhaps it was a life-altering disease. It could have been a divorce, a prodigal child, a career change, a terrible decision on your part or the spiteful behavior of a person you thought you could count on. Whatever it is, it has changed everything, including the ending of your story.
Now, you may not have chosen this calamity, this curve ball and you may feel a bit disoriented that things aren’t turning out as you expected they surely would. But you do have choices. You get to decide whether you will stubbornly stand your ground and insist things must be how you are convinced they should be or whether you are willing to rewrite and create a beautiful new story.
Y’all, listen carefully to your heart. If it is hurting it may be angry, it may be sad, it may be sorrowful. Listen to your heart and then when you are done listening, roll up your sleeves and get busy. Maybe go back to the original story board and move some moments around. Write your rewrites in pencil, just in case you need to make more changes later. Rethink what really matters. Consider what can be changed and what, no matter how much you wish you could, can not be changed. Then, find your courage and find a new ending or a new beginning or a new twist in the story of your life and let the rewrites begin.
After all, rewrites can be an opportunity to improve your story, make it better and more complete. Today is your opportunity. Today is the day you can begin again, head a new direction, write a different ending.