Eye on the prize

Writing is such a weird emotional thing. It’s hard. If you sit down with a plan to write something, it’s going to be harder — Lauren Miller 

Yeah, writing is a weird emotional thing. And I am referring specifically to fiction writing. Yes, there are other forms of writing (non-fiction, poetry, essay, journalistic, etc.) but I’m not focussing on them.

I think being creative is a weird emotional thing. Period. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Anything worth having, anything worth experiencing, anything worth creating, anything worth fighting for will be hard. 

When it’s hard and you want it badly enough (please excuse any double entendre you might perceive), yeah, you’ll get a little emotional. Depending on the obstacle I encounter, either I get mad and double down on reaching the endgame, or give it the stink eye and double down on reaching the endgame.

Regardless of my emotional reaction to the obstacle, I always have my eye on the endgame. I can’t ever lose sight of that. No matter how much life can get in the way, no matter if I’m in some sort of holding pattern when it comes to moving forward with the storytelling, my eye is always on the prize.

And what is that prize? Being able to successfully tell the story I want to tell. Being able to tell the story my characters want told and to do justice by them. That’s my prize. 

How do I know I earned my prize? By how I feel about the completed first draft of the manuscript.

For my upcoming book, Risk, I was pretty proud when I arrived at the complete first draft. I’m not proud because I just finished writing it. I’m proud because I knew the story that needed to be told was completed. From Point A to Point Z and everything in between felt right. I have no regrets.

And as a writer or as a creative person, having no regrets is so important. Even if there are regrets, acceptance of those regrets is just as important. You can’t let them eat you alive. There are lots of other things in life that will try to eat you alive. Don’t add regrets to that mess.

Another part of the prize for me is I knew the goals I set for myself when I started writing this book had been achieved.

There’s nothing more satisfying than realizing your goals. Those are the things I can call my own. No one can take that away from me. And yeah, I’ll pretty much rip anybody’s head off if they try.

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