Sunday, November 1

And the award for the hardest part of writing goes to.....

I answered 20 thought provoking questions for a blog interview this weekend, one being what is the hardest part of being a writer? Hmm. I'd already whined in the interview about how hard it is to write a really good sex scene, so I had to dig deep for an answer. While I thought about it, I switched screens to my WIP and did a check of the word count. 16,105....which means I've still got 80,000 words looming ahead of me. The answer crashed into my mind with the subtlety of a freight train.

The hardest part is not giving up. Sure, every word on the page is a victory. But look at the picture on the left. When I finish writing a chapter, I feel like I've made it to the top of that rock pile....except that huge cliff above - the rest of the manuscript - still awaits me. Yes, I love to write. But especially if you aren't contracted already, the urge to quit assails quite often. It erodes your sense of fun and satistfaction, leaving you with doubts and questioning your priorities. Without a guaranteed payoff or reward of some sort it takes an immense amount of self discipline to keep going. Especially when life gets in the way, another agent rejects you, or your middle sags like an overused hammock.

Why don't I give up? Well, I do love it. Kind of like going to the gym, the anticipation is the worst part. Once I sit down at the keyboard, my fingers fly and the fun kicks in. Also, I have a shocking lack of humility. I believe in myself, and I truly believe my writing is good enough to be published. Each book I work on feels better, more polished and entertaining than the one before. And I truly believe we have to pat ourselves on the back - frequently. Because let's face it; there are long stretches when nobody else will. Question of the day: what makes you keep going, against all odds and reason?





4 comments:

  1. Christi,
    You hit the nail on the head, friend. Not giving up, that's the hard part.
    Starting, that's fun.
    Finishing, well, we all know that's a kick. But that middle 60K words, it's a bitch.
    But you know you did something when you pull through!

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  2. What keeps me going? The loom of the loony bin where I'd be headed if the voices in my head had no page to play on. :)

    You're so right on, though. Because the beginning of every story is sweetness and light...the middle gets a little boggy and as I hit those last 50 or so pages, things start to really slow down and i start to doubt if the story is good. But then Then End happens and everything is sweetness and light again. It's a crazy rollercoaster!

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  3. I love your analogies, especially the sagging hammock. So to anyone who paints exquisite word pictures, not writing is not an option. Your head could explode with all those images left trapped inside, like a trapped burp of a homemade pickle canning season. The gasses build and build, until one night, I wake up to an explosion of pickle juice all over the basement.

    Frances

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  4. From someone who hasn't quite made it to the end, not even once, all of what you wrote is like a candle in the dark. I've experienced the thrill of the beginning and the sucking boggy middle. Then laid down and expired only to be revived by the dream of a new beginning. Maybe, just maybe I'll bring enough gatoraide to make it through the swamp this time.

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