I am not talking about self-reflection in terms of proofreading your own writing. I am talking about how a writer can experience self growth through constructing his/her own story. I started writing Florid Eyes in November, and I finally sent in my first draft to my editor last week, so I have literally spent 5 months working on it and could spend even more after I get back first proof back. In the grand scheme of life, five months is not a long time at all, but for people who think time=money. The time cost I have invested into writing this book is enormous, let alone other real monetary cost. I keep telling people I didn’t write this book for money. I wrote it for fun at first. It turned out to be so much fun that I become 100% consumed in the creative process and could not bring myself to leave the story unfinished.
Let’s say I uploaded it on Amazon/Kindle/iBooks stores later this month, and I sold zero copy. Would that mean all my efforts, all my hard work, all my research and sleep deprivations are for nothing? I don’t even have to experience it to tell you a big “no”.
I have learned so much over the past five months even though I was pretty much just working on my own in my bed, in different Starbucks and in the subway typing on my iClouded iPhone. I have done a lot of soul searching through the writing process. It was almost like writing a self help book for myself. I posted questions for my characters which I had no answers to initially. I put them in moral crisis that I myself had no clear-cut answers to. When Violet and Josh went through personal developments, I went through the same thing too, because I had to think things through before I could translate my ideals into words.
One thing that I was struggling with myself, is to have faith, to trust my instinct. I’m sort of an atheist. I respect all religions, but I’m not attached to any one (except Apple :)) I am a natural worrier. Despite my cheerfulness, I often magnify small things and think they could mean the end of the world. Of course, they always turn out to be just nothing. I look confident, but I actually am very thin-skinned. Although I always stick to my decisions once I’ve made them, but I tend to agonize for a freaking long time before major decisions are made. I’m always worrying about this and that.
I think Josh and Violet were facing the same problem in the earlier chapters. They were very unsure about their pursuit of the MacGuffin and a future together, particularly because they have more than just their work lives or careers at stake. They have people who they care about at stake too. As I wrote on, I realized they really needed to take a leap of faith and say, “Fuck the world,” because we need them to, because I need them to. The world has enough people who are just too lazy/comfortable living a passionless life. We need characters, role models, to demonstrate the importance of being brave.
I know people will have mixed feelings about my ending. I can only say that, it is the best thing I can come up with for Violet and Josh and for readers who truly get the story. They are worth more than a fairytale wedding in a forest. They have grown so much and become such a great team together. They compliment each other. Violet has the wit and an unyielding personality and Josh has the sensitivity and physical strength. They need to keep fighting for what they believe in, so the world can understand what “togetherness” truly means.