"Why is writing so much harder for me than it is for everybody else?" — every novelist ever, secretly to themselves, all the time
— Lev Grossman (@leverus) April 28, 2015
There are a lot of people out there who either want to write or think they can write.
I’m not one of those people.
I’m currently up to my armpits in a new novel. It’s at the stage where the process is a lot less like riding a Ferris wheel with your high school crush and a lot more like gutting a dead shark.
When you start out with a book, it’s nothing more than a kernel of an idea. Some people do lots of prep work and others fly by the seat of their pants. Either way, there’s still this strong emotional drive to get started. It’s a rush, like the heart flutters you get when you have a new crush. Honestly, the worst thing that happens during this stage is the silence that some people call writer’s block. To continue torturing my analogy, this is a lot like waiting to hear if that special someone ‘like’ likes you.
But now? Now I’m in a whole new stage altogether. I’m covered in sweat and there’s stinking slime all over the place. Because that’s what happens when you start editing. This is where books are really born: in the tunnels of self-doubt by the strength of a writer’s perseverance.
Also, there is coffee involved. Loads and loads of coffee.
So in case you mistake this tongue-in-cheek post for actual hubris, here is the truth: there is no secret to becoming a great writer. There’s only work, more work, and maybe the tiniest bit of luck. Also, coffee. Did I mention coffee?
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