A start

I quit coding school. Yep. Ok, technically I haven’t yet, as I haven’t sent the email. But my brain has already noted the distinction and assimilated accordingly. I am back to writing!

Back you ask? Lemme explain. I’ve been an stay-at-home mom for-a-very-long-time and I felt the pull to do something other than packing lunches, waiting in school parking lots and asking how school was going (with the usual grunted responses). And while raising kids never truly ends, their gradual independence was the perfect time for this self-reflection. But exactly to what?

I had fantasied writing over the years, never taking it too seriously. Now however, this wasn’t so ridiculous of an idea. I began writing, attacking my new passion with gusto; I was writing a novel! Not just a novel but a fantasy novel that required world building. It was initially exciting, thrilling even. But like my daughter when she was a toddler, who was having fun one day jumping into the pool at the shallow end (though I wouldn’t call it jumping exactly) decided that jumping on the other end of the pool would be better. I  likewise jumped in without realizing it was the deep end.

After writing a few chapters and rewriting, I realized there was so much that needed addressing. How was my parallel world going to pace with existing world? How was my magic system going to work? How was the language, the geography, the animal life, the cultures all evolve? What was the basic (and also more complex) storyline and characters I was building? I tried tackling some but quickly became overwhelmed and eventually… stopped writing.

I was in tech before the kids. But one of my resume holes was that I didn’t have any coding experience. I put novel writing off “for a later date” and decided to go to a coding boot camp. It was tough and even slightly overwhelming, yet I thoroughly enjoyed it and all of us students worked together to overcome any stumbling blocks. At about a month and half in, I began a group project with four other students. We created javascript kid’s math game. The game was a big success. However along the way, I realized I sorely missed the creativity that writing had brought out in me. The imagination that went into the game had sparked a doused ember and brought it back to life.

Last week we had off for the holidays and it gave me time to think about what exactly I wanted and should do. After deliberating, stewing and even trying to ignore (laying in bed wide awake in the wee hours of the night said that didn’t work at all), I struck a deal with myself. If I was going to go back to writing I needed a plan. Otherwise, Monday morning would find me in coding class.

I have a plan! Instead of the novel, short stories that focus on a character or situation that would be part the novel’s world in addition to other short stories will be my initial focus. Getting published would be nice too. More importantly, I’m committing to writing every day and as I get into the habit of writing and more comfortable writing stories, I’ll begin to tackle world building.

So like my daughter, who quickly learned that the deep end isn’t noob friendly, the shallow is just right to get your feet wet.