The writing itself is work. Hard, long work. Stop and go. Stop and go. There is no glamour in sweatpants and headaches and half-filled cups of coffee. No triumph in e-mail and twitter and blog checking. There is no power in procrastination. When the words are not coming, when the inspiration isn't there, when you'd rather be doing anything else.
Desk. Computer. Time slipping by while you bury your head in your hands, thinking this will never work.
Couch. Laptop. Time slipping by while you type, type, type. Read, delete. Type again.
Pen. Paper. Time slipping by while you scribble incoherently, hoping, hoping, hoping that you're getting it right.
The writing itself is work. But the moment your vision is realized on paper, the perfect word to convey the perfect meaning, plot points coming together like magic, the thrill of a character coming to life, getting lost in the world...you remember why it's all worth it. Why the doubt and stress give way to hope. Why the long, hard hours are also the most fulfilling. Writing lives in our souls, pumps through our hearts and flows from our fingers. It gives us something to yearn for and hope for and dream for and strive for.
Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in The Other Side. I fall victim to this all the time, and honestly, it's silly. I haven't even queried yet--I'm not even close to it!--and I want to throw up when I think of my Dream Agent. I get jealous when I see people getting book deals. Yes, that's The Dream, that's what I'm working toward, that's what we're all working toward, but it all comes back to writing. Unagented, Agented, Published...it's all about the writing. That's what the focus should be on, always. It's where it starts and where it ends and will be there through the whole journey. If there were ever a time to linger, to learn, to explore and discover our style/voice/process, it's now. I'm talking to myself here, but maybe some of you can relate. Sometimes I just want to get the writing over with so I can do the NEXT THING...but even on The Other Side, the writing itself will still be the next thing.
So, I'm challenging myself to stop focusing so much on what happens after I finish New Novel and save that energy for writing it. To revel in the process, sweatpants, headaches, procrastination and all.
Guys, I'm excited. Writing is awesome.