I think one of the attributes I see all the time in the writers I know as friends and the writers I work with is determination. The drive to keep at it, time and time again. It takes months and months, sometimes years and years of work to get that novel into the shape you want and then someone knocks it down. Someone like me teasing apart of the intricacies of a failing plot or treading on your unbelievable narrator for example.Or the publisher who sends a standard rejection and your work is swept off the table with one outstretched arm. Do you really have to start again? After all this work?
Sometimes the answer to that really is yes, you do if you want to produce something good enough. Somehow you find the strength to see what needs fixing and keep at it. But sometimes writing something new is also refreshing as you learn the craft.
For me, as I have said so many times you are probably thinking yeah blah blah blah about now, the process is what makes something really worth reading. Yes it can be frustrating, but that’s the writer’s life.
Currently I am still poised at the climax of Isle of Pelicans, every day leaving my characters poised in states of varying states of peril as I pop to the gym and then later when I have to work on something else. But here they are again each morning, still poised and breathless, still a shotgun in someone’s face. This novel, probably needs at least another two or three drafts (hopefully less structural) and I have a title and an idea for new short story begging to be written.
So what drives that process? The goal? What is the goal?
Measure success only in happiness.
All I can tell you is this is where I show up everyday, in front of this computer. I am the master puppeteer in the lives of the fictional characters I create; and perhaps in orchestrating my own dance. And what a fun one it is.
We are all masters of our own destiny.
So choose to do something that makes you happy. Every day.
Happy Thursday! Something wonderful is about to happen. Feel it?