So what is happening in April with all these pages? Everyday in April, I am writing a page a day. No excuses and no delaying or trying to make up pages after the fact. A page a day.
Simple right? If it were that simple then my next book would be out by the end of this year. Lots of things get in the way of a regular writing schedule especially when you work more than one job or have a family or that little thing called life.
Life throws all sorts of things at you. It has a list of needs like sleep and the desire for substance. There is love and heartbreak both of which can throw you off of a writing schedule. Although, I have found heartbreak to be quite energizing when it comes to writing and not just for sappy love poems or teen angst.
Life throws colds and cancer at us. And we have no choice but to keep going.
Last night, I had the beautiful opportunity to attend the launch of Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You – a collection of short stories by Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés. The book is incredible as is the woman who wrote it. She has been called a “spellbinding storyteller” and her book is recommended as one of the top ten reads on Cuba.
The launch was in a cozy bookstore, Writer’s Block Bookstore, in Winter Park. When I arrived, she was engaged in a conversation with readers. The biggest thing that I took away from conversation at the launch was that you need to write those things that you are afraid to write about. When you get nervous that is the time to push further and go off the cliff.
Most of my life, I have drifted towards fiction because I have been afraid to tell some stories. Afraid to expose myself to the world. There is a comfort in being a storyteller. Truth can be weaved into entertainment and there is a deep value in giving people an escape into fantasy worlds. I have learned so much from fictional characters and through the writing process. But to grow as a writer, you have to push your boundaries.
The other big thing was be yourself. Be genuine and be nice. I have know Milanés for a while through mutual friends. She was completely herself yesterday. A beautiful and fierce Latina that has so much to teach and share with the world. She talked about her daughter and how proud she was of her being the first s. She talked about her Cuban heritage and what it means to be the “good girl”.
Growing up, I always tried to be the good girl. The responsible one. The good student. The respectful daughter. Always doing what I was suppose to do and never actually understanding what that was. Missteps were bound to happen and I ended up feeling like a failure. Never good enough… unworthy of love.
Good girls do grow up and find the fierceness of their mothers and grandmother.
Then they become women who write.