I want to talk about motivation today. First,
My plan has been set in motion and amounts to this:
1. Leave job at Soul Crushing, Inc. (and write).
2. Start waitressing (and write).
3. Move into a more affordable apartment (and write).
4. Begin Creative Writing courses at a local university in the fall (and write).
As to #1, my parents are not very happy with me and while I understand, I respectfully disagree. I have done everything practical and "right" in my life. I've also done it in the correct order. I graduated high school in the top of my class, went to one of the best public universities in the country, chose two majors and stuck to being pre-med, I didn't get arrested (just one drinking ticket, but come on - we like to pretend we're a dry university and that's laughable), I didn't get pregnant, I graduated in four years without amassing loads of debt, and I landed your typical office 9 to 5 after graduating. I became financially independent.
What I'm saying is I did all the right things and you know what? I'm unhappy because what I want isn't practical. Sure, if I ever get published and make a living doing what I love, then all of this will seem like a bad dream, but I don't have a crystal ball. My parents, I think, probably once had the same ambition and head-in-the-clouds kind of attitude that I do. Call me crazy, say I'm regressing to childhood fantasy, but I am unwilling to give that up. I pledge to always be curious about the world. I do not ever want to lose the magic I see in day to day life. I refuse to.
When I told my father, he sat back in his chair and did his sideways disapproving head-shake, keeping his eyes away from mine, and almost laughing, said, "My daughter, the waitress." Like it was a slur. Like I was slumming it to go back to where I've come from. It would have made any other person angry.
For me, it lights a fire under my ass. My entire life I've felt that I have to fight for what I want. I told them I was going to college. I told them I was going to be pre-med. I told them I was going to Spain. I told them I was going to run a marathon.
I did all those things. So I know when I tell them that I'm going to be a writer, one day through hard work and dedication I will be a writer. It may not be soon and I'm sure as hell it won't come easy, but it will happen. My best motivation has always been someone telling me I can't do something. So I will take the little head shakes and that twitch at the corner of everyone's mouths when I tell them I'm quitting my job to write a book and I'll pocket it for later when I'm bogged down in the middle of it, wondering why the hell I wanted to get myself into this business.
Second, I thought I'd share some of the motivations behind Momentum (current word count: 57, 607 - I know I've been slacking). Although it isn't happening yet because no one really gives a shit what I have to say at the moment (but that will change, world! *shakes fist*), I know eventually someone will ask me where I get my ideas.
The idea for this story came from several different experiences. One of the scariest books I ever read was Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I had nightmares for years after, not about the act of killing someone, but the guilt and paranoia that follow it. Then, one night my junior year of college, I was leaving the library at 2 am, in a caffeine-and-Adderall-incuded haze and I passed by some of the frat houses on campus. They sit in two semi-circles, Frat Court where there are 5 houses, and the aptly named Little Frat Court where there are 3. As I cruised by Little Frat Court, I saw that the courtyard they all face was lit up in blue lights. They were having a party.
And that was that. The blue skinned girl came directly from that.
I also found a feeling I wanted to capture. I believe you can bare the most intimate parts of yourself with writing. It is a vulnerable task by nature and I wanted to explore a feeling I've felt often during my life. Not to go all emo on your ass, but there is something very lonely and alienating about watching a party go on without you. I've written about it before (not here), but it's like standing outside on the street and watching that warm happy glow come through a window you aren't allowed through. JR, the main character in Momentum, spends a lot of time glimpsing things through windows. I want the reader to feel that sort of alienation with him, the want to join in on that life you've only seen in flashes before, but somehow you can't find a way inside.
Hopefully, I can articulate all the things I want in this book without bashing the reader over the head with it. If I can, I think this thing may be halfway decent.