Write for Yourself

I have often heard it said that, when you write, you must first write for yourself. I think I reached a point today, in the writing of my novel, where I was doing just that—writing for me. With each sentence, each paragraph, I was experience a double-thrill. I was excited as a writer to be moving along in the piece. But I was also excited as a reader to see what was going to happen next. This left me feeling drained by the time Stephanie came home, but a couple of Advil and a decent dinner fixed that and then I got to watch the Patriots.

The chapter I was writing today was about the beginnings of the relationship between Michael and Jen, two characters who, if you saw my senior project at Bradford back in the day, you might be familiar with. They’re different now, at least a little bit, which is to be expected in an adaptation. Instead of this just being a retelling of the relationship between my wife and me, the story is now more about the evolution of these two characters. I feel as though I’m still feeding off of the heart of what happened in real life, but I’m finally writing fiction instead of trying to write veiled autobiography.

And the results, I hope you will someday see, seem to be much better.

There’s a particularly great passage, I think, where I described Jen’s dancing after her first intimate moments with Michael. I actually went to the trouble of digging out the Chopin CD Stef used in her solo all those years ago, just after she and I got together, and I wrote to the music. When I imagined the emotions of what Jen was going through, and used some of the moves that Stef had used as a reference, and with the music playing in the background, I feel like I really captured the feel of a dance performance and the feel of what Jen’s dance performance would have been at that point.

Anyway, that’s about enough of that. I’m also thinking of changing her name from Jen to Jenna, because I like the sound of that rhythmically.