Yeah, it would have been timelier if I'd remembered to write this post yesterday. But at any rate, I've been writing for three years, now!
The anniversary of the first time I opened up a blank doc and started typing, wondering if maybe I could write a whole book, is easy to remember. The fourth of July. I did indeed finish that book I started at my parents' house while home for the holiday weekend in 2008. I haven't sold it yet, and am starting to believe I may never sell it and may not even want to…and that's okay. It's valuable as far more than another contract, because it's the book that proved I could write a book. Now three years and one day later, I've sold fourteen novellas and novels, all because I wondered if maybe I could.
Of course it took a lot more than merely wondering and trying. As fun and awesome and better-than-anything as this job is, it's tough. There are multiple challenging aspects…rejection, poverty, eye strain and backache (my ball chair sprang a leak and I am missing that fucker), and the sheer challenge of being clever or at least coherent, day after day. But the thing that strikes me as the most difficult is the discipline. Writing is like dieting, if you're keen to lose weight. You want to lose weight / finish a book and all you have to do it eat less / write every day! Yeah, simple. So why are both cited as being infamously frustrating? I don't know, but the thing that strikes me as borderline miraculous about my own writing process is that I rarely need to dip into the well of discipline.
Sure, there are days when I do have to bribe myself with coffee—and the promise of cheap wine and reality TV afterward—to reach my one or two or three thousand word goal, and the prose that might normally take me two hours to slam out takes all morning and half of the afternoon. But on the whole, there's nothing I'd rather be doing. I can't think of very many things I can say that about. Walking is close. Watching TV while my husband grazes my arm is another contender. When I was a kid, it was drawing, and whenever possible, swimming in a hotel pool and diving for the room keys my dad would toss in the deep end, over and over. Ah, the rare freckled retriever.
But these days, the thing I long to do while I'm forced to perform the mundane tasks life demands of me is write. To be free to fantasize about what my characters are up to and then get that good stuff onto the digital page. Perfect job for an incurable daydreamer. How magical is that, having a job I actually long to perform? A job that gets me out of bed, excited to play God? How lucky am I to have something in my life that's not only addictive and pleasurable, but productive, creative, mildly lucrative, and fabulous for breaking the ice at parties?
So anyway, just wanted to share my three year scriboversary. It's the leather anniversary, incidentally… Way too tempting an excuse to buy a new iPad cover.