“I haven’t seen you in forever. Where’ve you been?”
“I’ve been writing.”
“Writing? Haven’t you finished that novel yet?”
“I only have another 60 pages left to write and I’ll–”
“I thought you said you were finished months ago. What’s taking so long?”
“Oh, well, back then, I’d finished writing the rough draft of my novel. Since then I revised it.”
“So, in 60 pages, you’ll finally be done writing?”
“Well…. no… not exactly.”
“What does that mean?”
“I’m going to edit what I’ve written and rewrite it again.”
“And then will you be done?”
If you took part in NaNoWriMo, you may find yourself in a similar conversation. Though the thirty-day writing marathon was over more than a month ago, writers often face more months left to completion.
Many non-writers have little appreciation of all the steps involved in creating a novel, memoir, screenplay that is ready for publication: from idea to conception to pre-plotting, writing, revising, rewriting, refining, rewriting, editing and rewriting once again. And those steps are just the start to becoming successfully published.
The Journey is Long
Yes, the journey is long. The key is not to give up but to find value in each step. Because, ultimately, the outcome or finished story isn’t as important as what you learn about yourself throughout the process – how you sabotage yourself and what it takes for you to dig deep and recommit to your dreams over and over and over again.
Because the truth is creating anything new out of nothing but a wisp of inspiration presents obstacles meant to challenge you and your dedication. Your weaknesses, self-doubt and emotional traps will constantly overtake you. The best way to deactivate the negative is to fully acknowledge the darkness that resides inside waiting to strike. And then, squash your insecurities with a pep talk affirming your good, your promise and your belief in yourself. Remember, you’re never alone but in partnership with something greater than yourself – the creative urge.
Haven’t You Finished That Novel Yet?
So, the next time someone asks:
Haven’t you finished that novel yet?
Simply answer, No, I haven’t.