I wonder if anyone realizes how simple and at once difficult that question is to answer.
I mean, my heart says it’s simple… I write because I’m a writer. It’s just who I am. It’s a drive, a yearning and even all those years I wasn’t physically doing it, I was spinning tales somewhere in the recesses of my psyche. It just is. It’s like asking a parent why do you love your kids? You just do. And that love a parent has for their kids is just as simple and complex as why I write. I’m not a parent. I have a little pup and that’s about as close as I’ll likely come to being a mommy. But I have a mom, I’ve talked to moms, I listen and I pay attention.
So it seems to me that writing is a lot like that. I mean it starts with this spark of an idea… a flash of brilliance. The conception of a story takes root and starts to grow. And as it grows, you might have some bouts of panic. OMG… have I lost my mind? This story is stupid. I can never do this story justice. Will anyone like this story? You start to make yourself sick about it.
But you press on. Keep writing, keep spinning, keep going. So the little story is growing, it’s developing. You go out for an evening with friends and the persistent little guy gives you a huge kick in the gut. It just wants you to remember it’s there, waiting for you to get back to it. So those nights with friends get fewer and fewer. As the story gets closer and closer to the end you get more uncomfortable, anxious to see it through. It’s crowding you and making it difficult to breathe sometimes.
You’re enjoying every bittersweet moment of it, but you can’t wait to see that wonderful story get written so that others can finally see it too. So your story is born, but you’re nervous all over again. What if others don’t love it the way I do? What if my crit readers rip it to shreds? What if my editor says it terrible and needs a complete overhaul.
Whew… okay, so your little bundle needs some work. You can handle it. Start training, molding, rewriting it to make it better. You know this could take a long, long time, but your story will grow up to be a wonderful novel one day. And so it’s ready. Your book has graduated from the beta and proofreading steps. You’ve dressed it up in a beautiful cover and you hit the publish button and send it off into the world…
And if you’re lucky, if you’ve truly done your job, everyone once in a while your story will come back to you with love. It may be in the form of a kind note from a reader, a nice review, a pleading request from a fan who wants more stories… Yep, that means it’s back to the grind. Time to knock boots and write another one and start the process all over again!
By Olivia Hardin
Every gift has both a reward and a price, because All of it fits…