The Sticky Keyboard: Chronicle of a Work in Progress

What is The Sticky Keyboard?

The Sticky Keyboard is my place to record my writing experience. I’m interested to see what my writing process really is vs. what it’s supposed to be or how it’s supposed to go. My target is to write my account of this process openly and honestly; the Sticky Keyboard is born!

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Why the Sticky Keyboard?

Well, a sticky keyboard can be both a metaphor and a very literal thing. One day it can be a metaphor for me not being able to get my thoughts down on the page with any sort of coherence. I could be stuck, not knowing where to take the story next on another day. And the next day, well, the keyboard could just be sticky from trying to have a snack and type at the same time. Yes, this does happen from time to time! All of it! And I want to share all of it here – for you, but mostly for me.

Before I begin, let me catch you up….

This is my first attempt at a piece of fiction (although some would say that my first book was fiction as well…but that’s another story). The first document I started on my computer was back in September of 2014. Within a few weeks I wrote out 6 very rough “chapters” along with a few notes about the first characters and the setting – for the sake of continuity later I suppose.

Hmmmm … Maybe I should back up even further. I’ve always wanted to write. Through the years, WHAT I would write changed many times. It changed an unbearable number of times actually – so I wrote nothing but the occasional blog post. One day, by some miracle, these 5 1/2 chapters blurted out. I thought I had the WHAT to write figured out. I was wrong. Eventually, this creative project was put aside so I could write The Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Greatness. Frankly, I ditched this project because TCGGTG seemed like an easier thing to do, and I like easy.

I ditched this project because I was stuck; I had no clue what this story was doing. So, instead of working with it, I abandoned it. Now that I think of it, that sort of describes most of my personal projects: I’m a great starter but apparently not a great finisher. I haven’t mentioned the 4 other writing projects on my hard drive … abandoned. More accurately than not finishing my projects, I finish … well before the project is done, if that makes any sense.

I FINALLY FINISHED SOMETHING!

Anyway, The Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Greatness was self-published in November of 2015 with little fanfare. This was the time I discovered that the publishing of a book is the least satisfying part about writing (so far at least). I expected great fanfare, critical acclaim and to have my friends rave about this wonderful creation that I “put out there!” I expected glowing reviews to be written … even though … I wasn’t even sure if I liked the finished product. My editor called it done and frankly, it was getting on my nerves anyway so I let it be done. I might do a rewrite/2nd edition some day.

Throughout that project and the year(s) since, the characters and story line for the fiction project continued to haunt my dreams and play out on the screen in my mind almost daily. I’m a little surprised that it’s stayed with me so long. I thought that maybe someday I’d either write it or it would leave me in peace.

I Opened That Long Abandoned Folder

A few weeks ago, as I was innocently scanning through the folders of my laptop, looking for something completely different, the folder “My Book” whispered gently to me.  “Psst. Carol please look over here.” I knew I didn’t have time but I opened it anyway. I started to read “Chapter 1” and read every word I had written so far. My work was abandoned mid-sentence in the middle of chapter 6.

I still love this story even though I have no clue where it’s going! Immediately I finished that 6th chapter and I was now running late. I didn’t care. I sat and stared at the page on the screen like I’d just gotten a glimpse of magic. Yet I still didn’t know what to do with the story next. I’m at a point where it could be like one of those make your own story books: choose option A and skip to page 50 to find out what happens next.

I Was Still Stuck

I knew I had to get help through this next piece. So, I took a deep breath and did 2 things. I reached out in my community to see if there was anyone else interested in forming a small writing group. There is! And I set an appointment with Parrish Wilson for a little professional assistance. Within 30 minutes she had my head put back on straight and I knew exactly what to do next.

I’m not sure if she knows that our conversation did that much for me. So … Parrish Thank You … our brief conversation did that and so much more! I feel empowered to move forward on everything again. Most of the people I would normally speak to about what I was going through would give me a kick in the ass and strong talk. Parrish gave me what I really required … a hug (virtually of course) and a nudge through the door. I feel like I have a Writing Mom now … and a really really good one. And we all know that sometimes, you just need your mom.

The Third Thing I Did

I suppose there’s a third thing I’ve just done … started this chronicle. I suppose it’s 1 part curiosity and 1 part accountability. Here both of us will see what the writing process is AND we’ll see if I stick to it. Now that I have a few witnesses, I’ll stick to it (hopefully).

Now you are caught up … ONWARD!

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3 thoughts on “The Sticky Keyboard: Chronicle of a Work in Progress”

  1. I enjoyed reading about your journey to this very point. And how wonderful that you found someone who could encourage you past being stuck. Sometimes we are unsure as to why we’re stuck so it helps to have someone outside of yourself to clearly point out possibilities as to why.

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