For better or worse

Writing a book is a lot like getting married. You have to make a commitment and invest time and energy in the relationship. And you have to be prepared to stick it out “for better or worse.”

It all starts with the honeymoon phase. That’s when you get an idea for a sure-fire bestseller. Just like you can’t keep your mind off your new spouse, you can’t quit thinking about your story. You start drafting chapters and conducting research fuelled by a rush of adrenaline.

Then months, or perhaps years, later you’ve completed one – or more likely – many drafts of the story. It’s not so much fun now. You have to work hard to keep up your interest.

You’ve read some of the paragraphs so many times the words no longer seem to have any sparkle. And sometimes you secretly wonder if it would be better to just quit and start all over.

But you made a vow and are determined to keep it. You slog away and then one day you look at your manuscript and think, “Hey, this isn’t as bad as I thought it was. There are definite possibilities here.”

Somehow things seem easier now. By struggling through the rough times, you’ve made your story stronger. You no longer think about hitting the delete button. You want to see this one to the end.

This entry was posted in Inspiration for your writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to For better or worse

  1. Paula says:

    You’re right, Rick, it’s all too easy to get distracted. I think that’s humankind’s default setting. I know writers – William Deverall for one – who write in isolated cabins with no access to phone, Internet or email. Another word for writing could be discipline. A person has to do it, not just think or talk about it. I look forward to reading the Smithsonian article.

  2. Rick James says:

    That’s the thing; deciding to make the committment. I spend too much time cleaning up all the silly odds and ends on my desk and entered in my Dayminder. Then finally after its all neat and tidy in my mind, it’s too late in the day and I’ve lost interest and energy!
    Further to that thread, I just bought the latest copy of “Smithsonian” magazine with an essay by Paul Theroux titled, “The Trouble with Autobiography.”
    Anyway, he starts off with pointing out he doesn’t have the time of day or patience for anyone who can’t just can’t get down to it and write. Quoting Anthony Trollope: “There are those who…think that the man who works with imagination should allow himself to wait till–inspiration moves him…” Or as painter friend informed him, “Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *