To Nick: Happy birthday, love! You are the best husband a girl could ask for. Thanks for the relentless support and encouragement you give as I chase my crazy dreams.
Now, on to the post.
When I first started writing, I thought my stories were carved in stone. Once I wrote it down, it couldn't change. Characters said what they said. Plot unfolded how it unfolded. Setting was what it was. If I tried to alter it in any way, the stone would crumble or become something different from what I intended. Like refining the rock with tools, I could clean up awkward language and punctuation, but that was the extent of change I could envision without destroying my sculpture.
I was wrong.
Turns out what I thought was stone is actually gold—precious, shiny, and most importantly malleable. As I have grown as a writer, I've learned that stories can withstand much more change than brittle stone. Pieces can be remelted and recast. They can stretch and shrink. They can be moved around or reattached. And through it all—your golden story doesn't lose any of its value. In fact, usually it becomes more beautiful than the initial design.
Sure, it's not easy to melt and remold gold. But it's doable. Sometimes I mourn the loss of my favorite pretty pieces, but I'm also happy with the new creations I make. After a while, I can't believe I ever liked the old parts to begin with. The new ones fit better, are more elegant, or just plain make sense.
I'm not afraid to remold my writing anymore. The end result is something more incredible than I ever imagined it could be.