I never knew that I was ready to start a new sport, till I started writing. I’ve become quite adept at throwing and catching my boomerang stories. I see now that this is just part of the process.
A boomerang story starts out in my backyard. Throwing and catching, throwing and missing, watching it getting stuck in branches and buried in bushes, landing in a neighbors yard or bruising my hand as I catch it wrong. Sometimes, the story hits something and cracks in half, splintering right before my eyes, hopefully to be patched, but sometimes replaced. After much practice and discipline, the rhythm of throw and catch are seemingly in perfect harmony. The satisfaction of watching it glide smoothly through the air, swooping and curving just at the right moment into the homestretch.
Now, ready to be flung out into the hemisphere of agents, editors and publishers. However, when there are no catchers, or perhaps the launching, the projecting, the aiming is just somewhat off, the story swoops around and returns. As writers, we are so ready to throw our story out there, all excited to see where it’s going to go, only to watch it come back to us, over and over again.
Are we too eager, too impatient or do we think it’s ready, when really, it’s not? When the story comes whizzing back at us, it’s a gentle reminder, a nudge or a slap in the face that there’s more work to be done. The story presents itself one more time for some polishing, reviewing or maybe it wants to be told with a different voice or from a different point of view, or perhaps it just wants to sit a little longer, to brew and seep and breathe.
And then one day, almost by surprise, it doesn’t return. Like Noah’s dove, it is finally free to roam where it needs to go, to fulfill it’s purpose.
Your story no longer needs you and you don’t need your story.
The connection between yourself and the story will always be there, tucked away in those secret-deep-delving-spaces, but it doesn’t belong to you anymore and probably never did.