I have had this story in my head for about fourteen years now. I didn't start seriously writing it until nine years ago, and finished the very first draft of it six years ago. Since then, I had put it off to the side; I knew I needed to "grow up" and mature before I could truly write the story that needed to be written.
Now is that time. I have written the first draft of the book again - but this one is drastically different than the first one. It's a weird sensation when something I have been working on for so long takes a drastic turn and becomes a slightly different story. Same people, places, and concepts, but it is so much deeper and intricate than six years ago. There aren't as many plot holes. The characters are so much more developed, acting and thinking like real people. There are entire cultures and subcultures in these universes I have created.
While thinking of the second book of the series, I see the changes taking their toll on the rest of the series. I had finished the first draft of the second book five years ago. However, now that the first book is done, I am seeing more changes in the second book than I could have ever imagined. My story is no longer mine; it is of itself. It uses me as a medium to release itself into our world and teach people of its people, culture, and ways.
This is no longer a story. It is a way of life. I, as the writer, must stay true to the story and write it as it needs to be written, not as I want it to be written.
Sometimes, being a writer is hard. However, it is well worth the struggle.