Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Journey of Writing

I had the rare occasion today to sit and read a physical book for hours while waiting for my car to be serviced. I didn't really like the book that much, but reading always makes me want to write.  Either to produce something better than what I read or to explore characters in the same way I get to explore them as I read.

So, I returned home and sat in front of my laptop to write.  I started on a story that I had been contemplating for some time, and I was immediately disappointed.  In no way was this writing process as enjoyable and easy as reading.  Where was the effortless explosion of character?  Why did I not have a firm grasp on this person's character?  I wanted so badly to enjoy that writer climax in which my fingers are flying across the keys because I know exactly what to write and because I feel so close and intimate with this person I created, like they are my new best friend.

But writing is much like life in this way.  A writer does not normally achieve that sort of euphoric state without effort.  In fact, the effort is what creates the joy.  We find joy because we put in effort.  The relationships with our characters are just like the relationships with those around us: the intimacy must be earned by spending time with them, listening, and putting their needs before your own.  Only then are you truly able to partake in that breathtaking climatic moment of intimacy.

So, even though I feel like giving up on this story because I'm not "feeling it" right away, I'm going to keep on.  Perseverance will yield much in the end.