The business of writing is often an exercise in patience and teeth-grinding. Or teeth-gnashing, as it were. It is hard to keep going with a story that we are not sure is worth its weight, and certainly not worth all the sweat we put into it. At least, that's what goes through a writer's mind as we're pounding out the words on the page. Today I wrote two thousand words. At the top end of my word count for each day...so, yay me! And that's the trouble...every writer needs a full-time cheerleader that whispers 'Keep going!' or 'You're doing great!'
We all do.
However, that does NOT constitute reality for a writer, and we must learn to persevere in pounding those keys and mucking out those storylines and figuring out those fascinating twists whether we have cheerleader-voices in our heads or not. That is just the nature of the beast. And to those of you that have actual cheerleaders, I salute you. But for the rest of us, I think we must have the GIFT or writing, for we do this in spite of the lack of encouragement or lack of decent paycheck or lack of input. If we didn't have the GIFT of writing (writerhood? writergizing? writeropoly?) we would've stopped a long time ago. But we didn't! And there's the win.
Perseverance is a tricky thing. At the end of our ropes we ask, should we quit? What if glaring success is just around the corner? What if our latest book winds up being one of the top ten on Amazon? On Goodreads? What if...? And so it goes. I do know one thing, though...that if we don't get those words down on the page and finish our latest, greatest, story...NOTHING happens. Nothing at all. And that would be a sad thing for our corners of the world, wouldn't it? Even if one story changed one life or made a powerful impression on one person, the book would be worth it. Nobody else can write our stories. We are all unique and wonderfully made and have different songs to sing, different stories to tell. I have determined to tell my stories...all of them...as entertaining and as skillfully as possible. One story at a time. It is a privilege to have a publisher that is willing to underwrite this journey.
I did a book club presentation yesterday. I love book clubs, because when I'm invited to them I know I'm in for a treat. I'll get to discuss, at length, in a casual atmosphere (possibly with copious amounts of wine) my stories and enjoy the unique privilege of the readers' perspectives. There is absolutely nothing more joyous than hearing someone respond angrily to my antagonist and lovingly toward my protagonist. Or declaring that they'd love to spend time in my protagonist's home or experience my protagonist's outrage and shock at lying paralyzed after an assault. We discussed what that would be like and I had the joy of hearing everyone else's stories as well. Our stories are all so unique, and that my books are a catalyst for others to share their own stories honors me deeply.
I had that experience yesterday. And it was all because...well...perseverance. It has its own rewards, with or without a cheerleader.