Two more beautiful words don’t exist in the entirety of the human language. Well, they don’t if you’re an author. Believe me. As one, I know. Why this sudden wafting poetic over a couple words that wouldn’t get you out of the hole on a Scrabble board? Because after almost five months of hard work, I just wrote them.
What? Writing hard work? You better believe it. Nothing strains the mental membrane faster than trying to multitask. Authors are kings of multitasking. Most of us work day jobs, we juggle that odious task with having families, some of us even have actual lives and finally wrap all that up with attempting to spend as much of our time living in a fantasy world as we can without being locked up in the ye old padded room for our troubles and you have the ultimate in multitasking. How do we do it? In a constant state of paranoia and panic. Bet you’ll never see that printed in the fine print of the job description. But, it ought to be on there somewhere.
Then again, authors are fickle beasts at the best of times. We’re talented and imaginative. The flip side of that is, we’re insecure, obsessive, demanding, shy, reclusive, or overtly outgoing. If all that wasn’t enough to get us a lifetime engagement on a therapy couch, we tend to talk about people that only exist in our minds, and expect those around us to know exactly who we’re talking about. We truly do live in our own heads.
And, it only gets worse when we’re writing. We’re a different type of crazy when we can’t write, but don’t expect me to go into that. I wouldn’t want to scare people off or anything.
Writing is a series of emotional highs and lows. The first pages are fevered orgasmic bursts releasing all the energy trapped inside your mind onto the screen. Sometimes, those first hours of writing result in the expelling of thousands of words, as the joy of the new chase, new worlds to be explored, overwhelms you. Each sentence is an adventure leading to the next. Your mind is focused on these wonderful characters that have been nothing more than whispering voices in the back of your brain. Ideas supercharge your imagination. You see so many possibilities that they all feel right.
That’s when the trouble starts, or as I like to call it, the hump that becomes the Himalayas. All those ideas bottleneck somewhere in the middle. All the options that fueled your initial rush of words and story becomes the biggest hindrance to doing the meat of writing — writing! Instead of focusing on the best option, you pick them all. Then, you begin to doubt yourself. Sometimes a little doubt is good, but when it becomes the stumbling block preventing you from seeing daylight, that’s when you have a certain number of roads open to you. Stepping back. Starting something new and coming back to it is a short fix, but sometimes it works. When your brain isn’t agonizing over the story, it can suddenly see the answer. Choice two, is the easiest and the hardest at the same time if you’re truly a writer. Just quit. Go back to watching television, or maybe do crossword puzzles to quiet all those voices in your head, because they won’t leave. They’re going to stay in your head bugging you until you have no recourse except to go crazy or write. You decide.
Once you’ve decided to go back to writing, things tend to move faster. All the plot elements miraculously start knitting together in your head. You see the path from Point A to Point B. Even a twist or two you never thought about pops into your head. Sure, it means some fleshing out at the beginning, but you don’t care. The plan is all coming together. You could write a million words, you’re so high on the rush of writing.
But, you’re not through yet. Once the heady scent of The End is in the air, that doubt returns. Have you done everything you could do to make this story your best? Did you dot that I or cross it? Dear Sweet Muse! What if no one likes this book? You get the picture. The point is you’re there. For all intents and purposes, the book is finished except for two little words. The words that have sat in the back of your mind since day one. With them, you are finally free to explore new worlds, new adventures, meet new people. So, if you are brave enough strive for the greatness they imply. Strive to be the creator of magic.
Strive for The End.