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Catching Up


I did not realize how long it had been since my last blog update. I genuinely thought that it had only been a week or two.

That whole writing process awareness thing that I wrote about previously has been a whole rollercoaster of a learning curve, and I'm kinda loving it? I have successfully finished an entire first draft of a short story - about 6 chapters actually, so maybe it's a short novel - and have had my writer friend go through and give me feedback. An alpha-read, so to speak. I'm now working on the arduous process of a second draft. A rewrite.

The first draft process was kind of fun. It was motivating to have my friend so readily availble and interested in what the next chapter might be, so it was easy to get words on paper. The poor-quality of writing was my biggest hang up; I didn't like that I was sometimes handing them terrible dialogue or extremely poor descriptions. But I managed, and they were fantastic with their suggestions.

I had a whole big conversation with my husband about it, too. You see, the story I'm working on is the novelization of my experiences in Minecraft participating in those competative survival games. My Minecraft character has her own persona (sort of), she's me but with accentuated character flaws - so she's a little impetuous in her attempts to be brave, makes poor decisions because she can't tell that she's over her head, and tends to look for a rescuer. I was realizing, while I was writing, that I was basically writing a tragedy. My character (her name is Kel) wants so earnestly to be helpful and contribute something useful to others, but doesn't have the skill for it so she ends up bungling everything and it breaks her heart. I was noticing this, and commenting on how sad that is, and my husband replied with "well, it's only a tragedy if she never realizes what she does bring to the table."

That hit me. I absolutely have always struggled to see what I contribute. In my mind, I contribute very little, if anything, to a group dynamic. Especially in an online team game like this.

I had no idea where to go with this story; I felt doomed to write out the tragedy and my poor Kel would be stuck not knowing who she was or why she had any value. But then my husband told me I couldn't think of my contribution in terms of skill. I had to think more spiritually than that. "You don't bring ability. Your contribution isn't helping, it's being present."

Well. That took some unpacking (and I'm forever grateful to my insightful husband), but I think I'm starting to see myself in a new light thanks to this fun little writing project. Even one of my team mates in Minecraft commented that they considered me the 'heart and soul' of our group. Also, there's an irony that's not lost on me: I've spent most of my life trying to do things to be supportive of other people, but it appears my real gift is in being present for people.

Even in Minecraft.

KelticAngel (aka Kel) in Minecraft


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