Regular readers of Critically Yours will know I've often struggled with the darkness of my writing (I've longed for several years to write a really fun pirate book).
Writing a dark, gritty novel can be grueling. As my character despairs, I despair, and I rush to reach the end so we can both have some sort of resolution.
But anytime I've tried to write a purely fun book, I end up asking too many questions, looking under too many rocks, teasing out all of my characters and settings' dark secrets.
But this past week I had an epiphany sparked by this illustration.
Yes, this. Whether you're a writer or not, if you love books, go look at this picture.
Perfect, isn't it?
I want to wallpaper my bedroom with it.
Not only that, it speaks to the struggle I've been having as a writer. Part of why I read is to be carried off to magical lands, castles, and spaceships. That's what I've missed in my writing as of late. But I also read so I can better understand my own gritty, frustrating, and sometimes sad world, and to have someone to share it with, maybe hold my hand while we explore it together.
So here's my epiphany: why can't I create books that represent this illustration? Fantasy, beauty, and wonder, but also darkness, loneliness, and garbage. What if I wrote about both?
J K. Rowling did, Dr. Seuss did, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Libba Bray, Shaun Tan... and maybe I already have, at least a little bit, too.
I'm brimming with possibilities and really looking forward to Project Whatever Comes Next!
Tomorrow is the Taking Flight launch party (eek!); hopefully I'll be posting about it later this week, along with more Greece pics. See you then!