I wrote over a thousand words today. Woo hoo. Even though G woke up too soon from his nap and I had to go meet my sister. Yes, after I sat down at the computer, I sat down again and went at it one more time. I did not give up. I did not say I couldn’t do it. I just did it. I could, if I wanted to, still go back and write some more.
The crazy thing about writing a novel is that people underestimated how hard it is. Even people who think it’s hard underestimate how hard it is. They love to write, they enjoy stories, they want to BE a writer, they may even be very talented.
The thing people don’t often realize is that writing a long work like a novel, you are not only confronting the difficulties of your characters, plot, style, and so on—but you are also confronting every dark and painful issue in your own life.
To write a novel is to face yourself, in a very bald and exposed way. Do you have issues with self esteem? That will come up. Do you have issues with self destructive behavior? Do me a favor, don’t keep a bottle of whiskey in your study. Is organization your problem? Perfectionism? Depression? Loneliness? Commitment?
Honey, whatever it is, it is sure to come up while you write your novel—if not in the actual story, then in the writing of it.
I suppose there are many ways to get through all these personal burdens. You can face them directly and let them go, you can use them to power your story, you can bully through and shut everything down but what you have to do. I’m not actually sure how everyone gets past their demons… but that is part of what makes writing so hard.
The demons come out to play, and you don’t get to ignore them… not if you want to write.