Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Confessions of a Amateur Writer #2: You gotta love it forever!

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!


Anonymous said...

Love the "love it for life" and "write it for life"! I'm not published as yet and am not near finishing a "well that's done" project. Take into consideration I've been writing since high school and was a 1960 graduate! If that doesn't tell you something ... .

Great blog. I'll be back.

Shonna Speer said...

Hi Aimee,
I am interested in talking to you about some of your writings. Email me at sspeer@h-smith.com.

Angela Corbett said...

Great post! It's true, you have to love it because you'll re-write it over and over again. I went through about 10 massive revisions and even more than that on smaller things for Eternal Starling. There were days I was so sick of editing that I just wanted to kill all the characters and be done with it. :) It can be frustrating but it's worth it. :)

Peggy Shumway said...

I know what you mean. I'm still rewriting a novel I wrote 22 years ago. I had a contract on it and the editors there made me rewrite some of it. Then I lost the contract through the publishers financial blunder. Now I'm turning the novel into three books. I ask myself all the time, will I ever be done with this. But I love the characters on the pages, and some day, so will the people who read it.