It has taken me years (I’m on the verge of saying ‘decades’) to reach this point. The road I took was long, winding, and, on occasion, headed in the wrong direction.
But I followed it faithfully.
And now it’s done!
But it’s not done!
Next up, I’ve got editing and a massive rewrite. I have to lose *around* 30, 000 words. (That’s a lot of ‘darlings’ to kill).
Sometimes I wish I wrote less intensive pieces—limericks and haikus, say. Pieces that don’t require the endurance of an ultra-marathoner to get from A to Z.
Writing a novel is a vast enterprise. Like any long trek, you need fuel (by which I mean snacking at the computer), positivity (go! writer go!), stubbornness (not…giving…up) and a sense of humour (oh! I just spent two weeks working on a scene that didn’t work and it turns out I don’t need, ha! ha!).
Also: you need the wisdom to realize that even once ‘the work’ is polished and published and read by millions (?)…you’re still not done. There’s more stories to tell. New projects.
I’ve realized: my twinge of jealousy towards poets is misplaced. Poets don’t just stop at one (usually). And neither do novelists (usually).
We all keep running. Writers of all kinds are willing to go the distance.
When you’ve got a creative calling, is there ever a finish line? I say: No! So, pause for a moment to enjoy the milestones, but otherwise…just: GO!
PS. I COULDN’T RESIST! HERE’S MY LIMERICK!
There once was a writer named Julie
Who wrote all the time, so groovy,
She wrote and she wrote
‘Til the day that she croaked
Then she wrote as a ghost, yes, truly!
Hmmm. Better stick with novel writing, amiright?