I was the last of the Invictus writers to leave our writing group on Saturday evening. We began early Friday morning and continued editing through the next day passing around our stories to share with each other. Some of us needed help in understanding our scenes while others just needed to talk through their own out loud.
Yes, we’re finally doing what Brad has asked us all along to do. Write together. As we sat up on the second floor of the journalism building at Ball State University we dove into each story. When passing them around an excitement began to grow in the room after hours of editing together.
Our project began to mean something.
We were able to understand the beginning stages of our first drafts. Of course, we know by the time Brad goes through them, they all will look completely differently.
This past December I met with Brad to talk about what I would be writing about. I sat in his office, complaining to him that I wasn’t a writer. My mind was wired as a designer and I didn’t understand the process of writing. In my meeting with him, I was hoping I could walk out with a perfect outline for my story. I wanted him to give me a solution. I was wrong; as I talked with him I realized that I was the only one that could tell my story.
Three months later, I sat alone in the room that had been full of the other Invictus writers editing. I read through my first draft one more time before I hit the send button to Brad. I was emotionally exhausted by the time I finished as I relived the scenes in my story. I had just spent months trying to make my words mean something.
The words aren’t there yet. I’m slowly learning that this—the drafts, the writing groups and frustration is all part of the writing process.