It’s December. As with all Decembers that have come before it, I seem to be way busy. I’m sewing and trying to write and shopping—it’s amazing how Christmas can turn the most unshopperlike among us into buying fools—and trying to write and thinking of baking and…did I mention trying to write? As far as the baking goes, it’s one of those things where I like the idea and the end product better than the actual doing of it.
Kind of like, sometimes, writing a book. I remember someone saying once that she liked having written a book, but that the actual writing was excruciating and she didn’t really enjoy it at all. (My apologies to whoever said this for not giving credit; it was in RWR, but I can’t for the life of me remember who said it, nor can I find a reference.) I can remember being shocked. Because how could a writer possibly not love what she did? I had rough spots in nearly every book I wrote—we all do—but I still loved the process, the journey.
Except for the book I’m writing now and have been working on for what seems like ever. I love the protagonists, their story, the setting, the “world” they and I have created. I have felt their pain, snickered at their funny times, and walked some miles in the heroine’s shoes. I only have about 20K words left to write and it looks from here like a heavy load and a long road.
I remember Anne Stuart saying once (My apologies again; I can’t find this reference, either, but I do recall that she said it.) that when it was all said and done, neither she nor readers could go back over her books and tell which were the books of her heart and which were not. Which books she loved writing and which ones she didn’t.
I’m counting on this being the way of it. And I’m counting on once again loving the journey.
The picture in today’s post is of one my daughter’s family’s Christmas trees (they have a big house and she’s a Christmasholic; this equals several trees). The boys (16, 15, and 10) decorated it, and I don’t know how long it had been in place before anyone noticed the clothes hanger on the side.
Even for our family, a clothes hanger on a tree is unusual, a different process. But in years to come, it will become a beloved tradition. We won’t remember what year it started or who placed the first hanger. It will just be something that appears on Wilson and Flaherty trees.
When I finish this book I’m writing, I hope you read and enjoy a story about people I love. I hope it doesn’t show that I’ve struggled with the writing of it. And maybe in years to come, I will remember it not as an arduous trek through a creative desert but as a fun trip to Peacock, Tennessee. A clothes hanger on my writer’s tree.