I've been writing on a book for about two years now. It began after I finished reading all 14 Wheel of Time Novels (by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson). I left that world behind and couldn't imagine reading anything else. Nothing else could measure up.
So I thought, "What kind of book do I want to read? What story interests me?"
Well then I was joking with my kids what would have happened if the Disney telling of fairytales went hilariously wrong. Couple that with a lyric from Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" and I found the book I wanted to read.
"What if he knew who you were when you know that you're not what he thinks that he wants?"
So I began writing during all the times that I used to spend reading. And by March 15 I had filled three notebooks and typed out a first draft. I let people read that first draft and then... well then writing got hard.
It wasn't just "Oh, I can write whatever I feel like" anymore. It was...scary.
But NOT writing is also scary...and lonely. And I really want to have a book on the shelf with MY words in it and MY name on it. I just do. I want it.
So why is it so hard to write?
I'm sure it has something to do with my ingrained psyche or something yada yada yada... And I get real tired of trying to dredge up my past fears and fix my filters and find my light all in order to just write a flipping story!!
JUST WRITE! That's what I tell myself.
And it doesn't help.
I keep hearing people say that writing isn't that hard. Just write. It's easy. Just write the story.
Well, guess what. It's freaking hard! It's work! It's me trying to squeeze certain parts of my brain and heart onto a page in a way that makes sense, tells a story, inspires, entertains and enlighten others!
Because I've lost the wonder of "What story interests me? What do I want to read?" I'm really so worried about whether it will be "good" when it's done that I'm just leaking my feelings (aka crying) and hammering on the keyboard.
How lovely and dramatic I am.
Look, the point of this story is this: I just spent an hour writing. Yay. And I can see that it is EXACTLY like exercising: the more I do it, the easier it will become. And I can't just do it willy-nilly. I need to warm up and cool down. And I need to keep doing it. It's good for me. It doesn't matter if anyone else benefits from my exercises. I will benefit. Can't that be enough?
Well, it better be. Because it has to be. Because that's all there is in the end.