Imaginary Writing Process

Everyone seems to have dreams about what the writing process is like.

You’re a writer? I’ve heard, time and time again. It must be easy for you to write a book, right? You’re good at English, so that must help.

Yeah. That degree in my dresser drawer turns out four hundred pages in three months all by its lonesome. Every night it sprouts legs and stomps its jagged corners all over my keyboard. I wake up and the work is done. Voila!

Oh, and did I mention that the sun is always shining on my work, the inspiration is flowing, and the words falling onto the page are the best ones EVER written in the history of writing? Ever? I’m telling you now. They’re good. (No, no, really. They’re not. In fact, the sun is sweltering in the valley right now, the inspiration is flat and the words falling onto the page are these. BAP! ZOW! WHIZ! See how cool those words are?)

Likewise, everyone who has tried their hand at writing has dreams about what the publishing process is like. Agents and editors are lined up at your door, begging to represent you. Oh, and the New York Times just called…you made #1 on their list…as soon as you write the book of your life.

Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

The truth is, writing is hard. Really hard. Most days the inspiration well is dry. Most days I spend hours digging through the muck at the bottom of said well just to find a drop of water I can exploit to give to a thousand thirsty children in the Sudan. Hey, I can be the Mother Theresa of writing, can’t I?

But writing is fun. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing this fine Friday morning…other than shopping…or getting my nails done…or having coffee with one of my lovely critique partners gabbing about writing…I suppose then that writing is a labor of love.

We push through the muck because we love that muck. We love the way that muck hardens into rubies and emeralds in the sun and shimmers all glossy and slick in the rain. When it’s all said and done, that muck is a work of art. And we’re proud muck holders.

In the meantime, while I’m waiting for that lightning bolt of inspiration to strike in the middle of this summer heat, I can skulk around YouTube and find videos like these…ones that make you scream YES! THAT IS HOW IT SHOULD BE!

So take a look. Fill up your well of inspiration…or not, and just pound on those keys until they turn to dust.


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