I’m in deep.
Can’t sleep, can’t eat… as much, can’t focus on anything else. I’m going to bed well after midnight and waking up by 4:30am raring to go, excited to get back to my hard uncomfortable computer seat and write and edit, hone and cut and fix.
My butt is numb half the time but I barely notice. I’m writing and I’m in love… with my characters, with the process, with creating something outside of myself.
I’m so tired, but like my character who has started a passionate affair that is as good for her as it is bad, neither of us can stop. We are addicted.
It has always been this way for me; whether writing bad teenage poetry, heartfelt essays, journals on my children’s journey to life or longer works of fiction, when I’m in, I’m in. I love that moment when you realize something great is happening, your story is evolving and you’re into the action. You may be writing it, but you can’t wait to find out what happens next.
It’s a genuine gift to enjoy the process of writing; the agony, the thrill, the total obsessive consumption that has you by the balls and keeps squeezing no matter how many gives you say.
Yet it’s totally reclusive and really the height of narcissism. Apparently, I prefer to just hang out with the thoughts in my head, the stories and people of my own creation than do anything else. What is more alienating and totally self-absorbed than that?
But there’s always a rub. You’d like to hope that if you spend so much time writing, you would actually do it well. But there’s no guarantee of that at all. To enjoy the process is gift enough but to actually expect to be talented? To have enough writing chops to rise above? Well, that’s just arrogance, stupidity, and a necessary aspiration.
Because tangled in all the insecurity and dedication, the loving and the hating is the hope that one day you just might hit on something good enough to rate. Something that will give others a moment of enjoyment or a secret thrill; will keep them on their toes, at the edge of their seats, reaching for tissues or whatever emotion you’re trying to convey.
Because a writer wants readers, needs them, and we also want our work to be recognized. You can’t sit for that many hours, days, weeks, months by yourself and then not crave worldwide domination, I mean some peer recognition. Not just your mother or your friends nodding and clapping – although where would we be without those claps and nods? – but the writing community; which if you’re relatively unpublished translates to an editor or an agent, and of course worldwide domination.
But no matter about that. It’s the carrot on the stick before us, a hope, a pipe dream, but onward we charge because we need to write. There is no other choice.
We are in deep.