I've been writing on my current WIP (Work In Progress) since June 2009. It seems like forever! But I'm still insanely focused on it. Which is good. There are days when I think "Am I done yet???!"
I confess there have been times when the only accomplishing thing I did to add to my word count was to open all my files and run a word count on everything I've written so far to check how far I am. Making absolutely sure I hadn't missed something somewhere. Am I indeed at the word count I confess to be at?
I thought I was more than half way through by now, but alas I am not. I'm starting to think this obsession is going to be a life long thing. Will it ever end?
I happened to talk to one of my writer friends the other day. I'm reading her story and I haven't finished it yet. This is the second version I've been reading. She had a confession to tell me when I told her how far I was into her novel. She's rewriting it again. This makes it her third rewrite. We both laughed sheepishly.
The reality of what she said hit me afterwards. I'm in this for life. There won't be a day that goes by I don't think about what I'm writing about. And the first draft is just the first of many rewrites to come. When I finally do get picked up by someone to publish it, I'll be rewriting it yet again.
Insanity just doesn't cover this level of strange. I think you just gotta love it forever. Just like you love your kids even though they drive you crazy sometimes too. Hey, I've heard novels compared to kids. Maybe that is the reason why. You will never be free of your kids, just like you'll never be free of your story.
So the moral of this post is... If you're gonna write it you better love it forever. Because chances are you will write it once and then rewrite it until your eyes are bleeding and you want to stab it to death. Or you want to stab yourself to death? There will be days when it is purely delightful to be in the pages of your novel writing, discovering, plowing through, making the magic happen. And then there will be days when you are ready to rip all the pages to shreds, kill all your characters, and burn every word you've ever written.
Caution to the wise... before you light a match, remember to make the commitment before you start writing to love your story no matter what. It's like a marriage commitment.
HEY, did I just do that... compare writing to marriage and family? It's the story of my life!