Friday, October 12, 2012

The Writing Life...Slow, Tedious, But Worth It!

It's easy for people who don't write to question what takes a writer so long to complete a writing project. The process is different for each individual; for example, one writer may be a morning person versus an evening person. One writer may be more comfortable in a coffee shop type of environment, e.g. Starbucks versus another writer being more productive in his/her bedroom. Then one must consider whether a writer is single versus surrounded by family as well as young versus elderly. All of these elements come into play in the life of a writer and may very well affect his/her productivity. 
Now, let's skip to me. My project (Book) was completed (all 400+ pages) over 3 yrs ago, but because I'm a perfectionist, I insisted on a once-over (complete edit/rewrite) before publication, as I should have. People want a perfect product when they're paying their money, and they deserve no less than that! So, what happened, you're probably wondering? Life happened! 

The day I completed those 400+ pages, I was so elated I thought I was floating on a cloud! I just couldn't believe it! I had had so many interruptions--thought it would never be finished--and, yet, it was done! I couldn't contain my excitement! And, yes, I thought I could finally give myself a week or two off before starting to edit/rewrite; I mean, how long does it take to edit? A week or two at the most...or so I thought! I guess that cosmic joke was definitely on me!

As soon as I decided to get back to work, my daughter (next to the youngest) decided to drop her life into my life, and the rest is history as they say! It immediately became one thing after another until I became so frustrated I put my book aside and refused to do anything else on it! I didn't touch it again for over a year. And, believe it or not, as soon as I made this decision, no one needed me for anything else. But, this is the crazy thing: As soon as I put my sights back on the book (not having touched it for over a year), here come the "I need you to do" all over again. You may think I'm making this up, but this is the gospel truth. Go on and say it (God knows I've heard it enough times), these are just excuses to keep from finishing the book; well if they are excuses, they are true-event excuses, because these are the things that actually happens every single time I decide to finish my book. I declare it seems as though the universe is against me completing and getting it published. And, just for the record, I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced these types of situations in their course of writing/editing/rewriting? Please comment and let me know. I'd really like to see if I'm the only person this is happening to or if it's somewhat universal.
The other question that comes up from none writers is, Why did it take you so long to write your book in the first place? Again, different writers have, not only their own pace of writing, but the length of time it takes to complete a writing project also has to do with the type of writing project they're working on and how detailed and complex the information in it might me. Some authors have an enormous amount of research to do in order to complete their writing project; to include, traveling out of the country. Fortunately for me, my books (so far) doesn't require anything more than my fertile imagination.

I tend to say I can write a book with my eyes closed (not meaning to being cocky)--it's a gift God gave me, but He also gave me many other gifts as well, and when people discover you have gifts or talents of any kind, it makes them somewhat...let me say, dependent on you! You become their "go-to" person for everything, and if you dare say, "I can't, I'm busy," you become the bad person! People think since you're a writer and you work from home, you've got ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to do their bidding! So, while I'm trying to write my book (before it was finished), I'm also being bombarded with, "I need my taxes done," "Look, I need you to do my bankruptcy," or "Can you please do my divorce for me? I can't afford an attorney." And, the list goes on!

Now, that I'm finally in the editing/rewriting stage of my book, it's "I need help with my term-paper, I need a Resume, Can you look over these legal papers?...I need, I need, I NEED!" And, if I mention that I'm extremely busy trying to finish my editing, then I get attitude and will hear, "It's not like you're ever going to finish it, anyway!" But, if I point this out to the very people who keep asking what's taking me so long to edit/rewrite, they say I'm just making excuses! I simply can't win for losing! What they don't realize is I don't have "A" BOOK to finish, I have MANY BOOKS TO FINISH! But, I have to get the FIRST ONE OUT FIRST
Then, you have those who think they know the publishing "system" better than the writer do, so they throw hints of how it should be done! Bless their hearts!

So much time has now passed and not only am I not as young and strong and energetic as I used to be, but due to my disabilities (and the medications that I take for them), if I'm not in incredible pain, I'm tired and totally exhausted; yet, I press on because writing is what I LOVE doing!

Here's the real deal: Writers are people just like you. They have families, some of them have other jobs, they have joys, troubles, pains...just like everyone else. My favorite author, the now deceased V.C. Andrews, had crippling arthritis and was wheelchair bound, but between her pain and limitations, she wrote the most profound books... you couldn't put them down! And then there's Danielle Steele who is a phenomenal writer, but you have to wonder when does she have the time to write, between all of the children she's birthing and tending to! My point is, we're writer's, but we also have lives outside of writing, and when people are waiting for you to finish a project (especially family), they don't feel as if you should be doing anything outside of writing. But, if people would just step back and allow us to do what we do best--at our own pace--I promise, we would come through for you, and you wouldn't be disappointed. 
Put yourself in our place for just one moment...and you might understand what it's like to be a writer in any given day. I promise you, it's a job like no other...but, a worthy job. It takes us places we've never been, introduces us to people we've never met, and opens the world up to us in ways we could never have imagined...had we not created it.

We are CREATORS of PEOPLE, WORLDS, and UNIVERSES. We are the AUTHORS of LIFE, JOY, PAIN, and so many COMPLEXITIES. We are ARTISTS who PAINTS THE WORLD WITH WORDS and changes your perception of the world around you! We are YOUR EYES, EARS, and VOICE. And, we LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

The next time you pick up a book to read, think of what it took for the author to get those words on those pages--his/her life, pains, passions, joy, and life's interruptions--and just sit back and relax. Revel in every nuance of every word and just know...this book was written just for YOU!

No comments:

Post a Comment