Time, as we all know, is of the essence- for one moment is gone, another is born and once it passes into the great beyond where past moments reside another is born again- and yet we constantly marvel at how those moments become utilized by other people; what they produce, what we don’t; what they enjoy, what we don’t and so it goes. Now writing, as an example, is something that many marvel at in regard to time (much the same way with reading- or so it seems to me) where as for me it’s just “one of those things”.
Much the way some people hang out on the couch when the kids are in bed, or clean when the little one is down for a nap, I write. I think for this to really make sense I need to explain about the force that drives me on this bumpy road of creativity as well as the time involved.
Writing is an art (okay, there are some books out there we can all agree aren’t art- but I’m speaking for me, personally); and as an art there is a drive to create and yes, to produce. I have always loved various mediums of art, while only ever really participating in a couple- music, and now writing.
When I had pursued music it was easier on some level- after spending hours upon hours practicing you then have a recital and people hear your efforts. You know WHEN they’re going to hear you play and you work toward that end point. While the result of your efforts aren’t necessarily known right away (whether the performance was good or like dumping a bunch of notes in a blender, hitting puree then waiting for the cacophony to settle out to see if you can still hear) you have that date always looming large in your mind. It’s also very transient, music performance that is, as you have one chance to hit all the notes right and then it’s gone. If you screwed up, oh well- you best be focusing on the NOW and not the THEN otherwise you will have more of those, ever so frustrating, wrong notes.
Writing, on the other hand, I have been doing without the end point being much more figured out than “I want to be published”. There is no date at this current point of time in which I am working toward; I hope to someday have deadlines and such, but as an unpublished author it’s pretty much me saying “I want it done by THIS date”. Of course after that point I wind up saying “now I must write queries, research agents/editors, publishing houses, write synopsis and work on my next project”- essentially never stopping and really relishing the last project with a round of applause (unless you count me holding up my wine glass in salute to my computer monitor).
Another vexation of writing is that you can pretty much continuously look it over and see something you would do different “now” and actually change stuff right up until it’s going to be in print. Always a perfectionist and waiting for that “AHA!” moment where everything is magically perfect (well, not magically, but because of me busting a$$ the exact right amount) I’ve had to come to an understanding with my work that it just doesn’t happen. Really. In truth I still feel inclined to go back and edit the sexual content of my novel to see if I want those scenes in that shape- but I won’t do it. Well, not yet- I’m weak.
Back to my point about the process of writing my first book (I’m optimistic that it will get easier with my next which I’m actively building characters for); it’s arduous and lovely. Even if it’s one paragraph out of 1000 that makes me go “Wow- that was good!” I keep that feeling with me when I’m effectively taking a red marker to my work (aka the delete key) and it makes me proud.
Now fear in writing is, of course, as it is in anything in which you bare so much of yourself- you’re afraid of rejection, of people not liking it, of whether or not you did it “well enough”. I’m here to tell you that I stuff that fear behind bullet proof glass, a layer of lead, and bags filled with sand then just keep plugging along pursuing this long ago dream of a literary career.
So, I’m pinching my nose and about to dive into the deep end of the pond. Hopefully I’ll get a synopsis done in the next couple days and have some agents picked out to whom I can pitch myself to. (Writing a novel was so not the scary part of this pursuit!)