9.18.2011

the most beautiful thing i keep


I think I understand why people compare their novels to children.  You cradle this thing inside of you and you nourish it and you ache and you help it grow and you love it while it's yours and you worry about it when you give it to the world.  It requires your time, and it simply cannot be without you.  It exists because you created it.

But I don't have children, and maybe that's why that isn't the way I think about my writing, not really.  Instead, I think of my work as something precious and shining and secret that I get to carry around and pull out to look at whenever I want.  And I don't mean the manuscript, I don't mean pulling the words up and re-reading them, though of course that's something I often do.  I mean the idea.  I mean that I am never bored because I always have some plot point to work through, some twist in the journey to map.  I mean that I am never lonely because I always have access to any number of characters, and it is infinitely interesting to spend time with them.  I mean that I have something for which I am exceedingly grateful: something that feels like a calling.

There are days and weeks and sometimes months when it drives me crazy, but right now I am madly in love with my story.  (This is a very self-indulgent post, but I have to write it down now so that I can remember it later, when we're all fighting and the words won't come and I'm pretty sure the plot makes no sense.)

Note to self: you have something beautiful that you get to hold inside your heart.  Don't underestimate how happy that should make you.

Revel, rinse, repeat.

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