Especially in the beginning, there's a special kind of magic about getting caught up in the story. It's like being swept into a new romance. It's intoxicating; it's all you want.
That's how it is for every writer. It's not that your stories are better than any other movie or book out there. It's more like--oh, I don't know. Imagine that your favorite writers in the world got together and wrote the one story you've been dying to read all your life. And it's brilliant. Imagine that it has everything you love about that kind of story, and more--you get caught up in it the way you may have gotten caught up in Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Twilight. Those all ended--but imagine that this never ends. Every time you finish the book, you get to start a new one. And again, it was written just for you. And again and again, forever.
Can you imagine that?
Wouldn't it be amazing?
This is why we writers are the luckiest people in the world. We get to tell our own favorite stories. They can be as amazing as we want. We get caught up in it not for hours, but for months. And as soon as it's over and done, we get to discover our next favorite story.
Of course, sometimes the writing goes badly. We can't make this story amazing the way it ought to be. We can't redeem it. Our best efforts come to naught. We often waste whole months trying to salvage this lost, broken thing--usually because somewhere in there is a story we always wanted to read. An idea that hooked us. A concept we long to explore.
This is why ideas linger with us across novels, across years.
This is why, if you have ever wanted to become a writer, you should try it. Not for publication, because publication isn't enough. You have to enjoy it first. You have to love it. You may be the worst, most inexperienced writer in the world, but you are the only person in that world who can set out to write what you envision as The Best Novel Ever.
Do it. Go ahead.
I can promise you now, it's magic.
And if you’ve written novels before, if maybe you’re somewhere else in the process beside drafting, let me remind you of the magic. You wouldn’t think it easily forgotten, but it is. Every time I draft a new novel, I remember all these things that happen during drafting, these amazingly wonderful things. And it’s like, how could I have forgotten I loved this? But it's easy to do. When you're stuck in that seventh complete rewrite, or you just received that feedback that says, "this isn't working," or even if you're just plugging away, and you've been plugging away, and darnit, you're tired of always plugging away.
I've been there. It's the make if or break it moment for many people. But those of us crazy enough to try this and having found magic along the way know how very much the whole thing is worth it.
So although it's a bit cheesy, let me just encourage you guys who may be at the place of, "Why am I doing this again?" It's about magic. And maybe that's what you're missing. Or if you're considering taking writing up, realize that it's not about making money or getting famous or having a really brilliant idea or anything else.
It's about you. And the magic.
Even if that is a little cheesy.
Truly and always,