What is my happy ending? It’s a good question and one I don’t have an answer to and that’s affected my writing. There’s a story in me—one that is fiction but based off of my life and unique relationships—and that story isn’t coming out no matter how hard I try. And this is the story I need to tell. I’ve tried others but keep going back to this one. I don’t just want to tell it, I need to tell it. So this struggle is a problem. I am stuck. I can write blogs, for websites, short stories and novellas, but the novel has me stopped dead in my tracks.
After a good conversation yesterday, I realized it’s because I have always known the ending of my stories and this time, I don’t. Because I haven’t reached the end. I don’t know what my happy ending is. While this is a problem for the story, it’s not in life. Because happiness isn’t the end game for me. The way we word that so often leads to this notion that once happiness is achieved, it’s the end. But I’m happy now. And I’m not ready for anything to end. Not life, not my happiness, not my continued growth or abilities, not my relationships… Being happy is what makes living this life worth the effort.
But this is why I’m struggling with the novel. I don’t know where to end it. Even the starting point has shifted over the last two years. Where is the right starting point? I’ve never had so much trouble with a novel. And while I fully intend on writing the same thing in a nonfiction sense, I also want the fiction. I want the fun of taking my experiences as a base and building another world around that. I’ve been denying this to myself because I’ve not known where to start or where to end, therefore, I don’t know what the guts of the story are either. Does it need to be women’s fiction? From more than one POV? Or an erotica novel with a heavy focus on D/s? I just don’t know. I want to do the story justice. I want to do myself justice.
I’ve worked hard to overcome my trauma responses and triggers. I keep working hard. As I’ve grown and learned, I’ve taken on more and thrived. I want to honor these aspects of my life in story too. This is a struggle I never thought I’d have.
I’ve also realized that my novel writing served as therapy for many years. I wasn’t in therapy back then and my only way to cope was to create fantasy worlds where I could live through my characters and accomplish things I never thought possible in the real world. But D changed all that for me. My relationship and submission to D changed all that. Because he gave me the structure and foundation I needed to start living the life I’d only ever imagined before. So now, I don’t need to write stories to fulfill the side of my life that I never thought possible, because I’m living that life now. Each day. My need for writing fiction is different because of that. Now, I want to write because I want to honor my life story, not live vicariously through a fictional one.
So where do I start? Where do I end? I don’t have these answers and that’s stifled me.
If there’s one thing about myself that I know, without doubt, it’s that I do what I set out to do. So I know this will be no different. I’ll tell my story. I’ll do it justice. I won’t give in to fear of failure or fear of facing the harsh realities of why I’m struggling so much. Hard work doesn’t scare me. In fact, it’s a turn on. Succeeding turns me on. I will accomplish what I’m setting out to do.
I know all the tricks—starting the story at the most interesting part of the character’s day, let the reader know what genre they’re in right away, grab their attention, and so forth—but these things don’t tell me where I need to start.
Mostly, I want to break down the walls around trauma with my story. I want to talk about the things that people don’t want to talk about. I want to show that a survivor is not a victim and the latter creates the illusion of forever being broken. Changed and broken aren’t the same things. Forever changed, yes. But not forever broken. So I will tell this story. I will tell my story, with a fictional twist, and I will figure out how by talking to others and working through it one step at a time. Yesterday’s conversation has already helped.
If one thing is clear in my mind; my story isn’t a romance or love story. Not this one. Though love is very much at the core. My story is about finding my power. Finding my voice. Finding my inner Goddess that once felt so oppressed (and suppressed) and allowing her to illuminate those around her.
I will tell my story.