It takes energy it takes to write a novel. Seriously. The process can be exciting but it’s also downright exhausting.
I forget about the kind of grit and daily discipline it takes to write a novel. But when I’m into the process, the reality is front and center.
My stories are always a massive undertaking, simply because of the subject matter and intricate, dovetailing story lines and characters I’ve created are complex and intense. But the sheer fortitude required for such an undertaking is often exhausting. I’m not certain whether other writers experience this feeling. (I know for a fact that doubt and concern over being relevant plague many writers, especially when they’re on their second, third or fourth novel in a series.) But the required drive it takes to get up every day and deftly craft four or five solid pages is not something everyone can accomplish, simply because of the discipline involved.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told someone that I’m a writer and I hear the following response: “That’s great. You know, I have a book inside me I need to write.” My response has now become more of a rejoinder. “You got a book inside of you? Well get it out.” But then I’ll look at the person and note a frail qualitya sense that a strong gust of wind would knock them off their writer’s perch. I know privately that a person like that will never have what it takes to write a book.
Does that sound mean? Cynical, perhaps? So be it. I’ve written two non-fiction books, over 1000 articles, one novella and two novels and I’m working on the third. I KNOW what it takes to “git ‘er done.” I understand the supreme dedication it requires to get sucked into the lives of your characters and to feel their individual dramas. I really know the sense of isolation that comes with being a writer and that those who aren’t writers will never understand what goes into writing a novel.
I comprehend the flat out exhaustion mixed with exhilaration that occurs after a day of pouring your soul onto the keyboard and knowing that when I wake up tomorrow morning, I have to start it all over again.
And I truly understand that if I didn’t take my vitamins and herbal supplements every day, I’d be one tired puppy and unable to scribe another post for this blog, let alone generate a 460 page manuscript.
You gotta have spunk and you gotta have drive to write a novel. If you don’t, choose another worthwhile profession.
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