Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Writing A Novel Is Hard

Writing is hard work. I know it probably seems like the easiest thing to do, I mean it's just putting words on paper right? It's not like a person has to lose a limb or sacrifice their freedom to write, well at least not in this country. Other places, where freedom of speech is not so free, that's a whole other story. But let's not sway from the topic. Easy peasy right; Oh my goodness, if only that were so.

One of my writing friends uses this quote on her blog, and I think it's super important to what I'm trying to convey here. Here's the quote:
“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." — Gene Fowler
Sometimes that's exactly what it feels like. A book is a piece of the author, whether it's autobiographical or complete fiction, it's the author's creation. I know you've probably heard it said before, like I have, that a book is like an author's baby, conceived and birthed from the author's imagination. It's true, but I'd like to take it even a step further to say sometimes that book even becomes a child. Mine is about nine years old (the book, not my son). There's nurturing and discovery and ultimately the time to let go (as in when a child leaves home). 

The process of writing a book has so many steps, that its a journey of many, many years (at least in my case) There's knowing what to say, to also knowing how to say it. And both can be just as painstaking to complete. Right now, I'm working on revisions of a novel that I've completely rewritten twice already, and now I'm just trying to exact the language in this final version so that it's complete (at least until an editor gets hold of it). It's a feeling, mostly. I'm striving for a smile on my own face when I read the words. Yes, I know what's coming, but when the words perfectly convey the idea, that's a great moment.

I'm in the final push, and I have my own writing retreat coming up over the next two weekends. I'll be locking myself inside, with my laptop, to push to the end. The goal is to finish the novel, finally after 9 years of working on it. It's been a journey of discovery for me. This novel will always be special because it's where I've found my voice and learned so much about the writing process. And there's still so much more to learn. I'm ready for the next chapter.

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