I’m not talking pumpkin spice (though I’m fond of that as well), but pumpkins. Big, fat orange ones. Adorable little ones which fit in the palm of your hand. Seeing them piled up outside the grocery store gives me a thrill. Even the fake ones outside the craft store make me happy.
I love writing these tales, seeing the word count tick up, knowing I'm creating something which didn't exist in the world before. I grow fond of my characters, because they live inside me and I want to present them in the best light. Which may be one of my problems with revisions, but we're not going to talk about the downsides here.
I'm up early, trying to follow one of my New Year's traditions: putting in some work on my next book. It's a chance to start as I mean to go on. The only light on is my desk lamp and the monitor screen. The sun is coming up, but there will be peace for a while longer. Even the cats haven’t started to demand food. Yet. That will probably come soon. In the quiet, there is an air of expectation, of something waiting to start with the promise of a new day.
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Let’s treasure not just victory, but the connections we have made with our fellow writers. This is all too often a solitary calling and we need people who understand what it is to have a storyline fall apart or the moment when you are absolutely convinced that every word you are writing is certified, 100% crap. To be a part of this community, even for a little while, is to have the joy of knowing we are not alone.
Tomorrow is not the end, but the beginning of the next phase, and no matter where we are with our stories, there is always a new dawn waiting for us if we have faith in ourselves.
We are writers. We write. We write through good times and we try to write through bad times, though there are moments when we have to say, “No, not today.” I saw that from a number of people earlier this month. They stepped away from the keyboard for a day or even a week, but they came back because writing is what they do. I would say bad times call for writing even more desperately than good times because readers need the comfort and inspiration fiction can bring.
We make choices within our writing as well, much of which involve how miserable we’re going to make our characters or how hard they’re going to have to work before they get to the ending we’ve planned. We choose which words we use, which words we don’t — and sometimes we choose to let our characters wander off in a direction we know they shouldn’t go because we made a choice to explore those possibilities.
If you’re not used to sitting down and writing something every single day, you might be feeling a certain weariness. Writing can be exhilarating, but it can also be tiring, both physically and mentally. Sadly, it does not burn sufficient calories to count as exercise, but it is still work.
We are our own worst enemies, beset by doubts and the inner demons that nag at us. But each day we overcome those voices and sit down to do the impossible thing is a victory. Writing is hard; it demands we open up some darker recesses of our imaginations and spill them out of the page, to have characters do things that we would normally shy away from. Writing is very often painful, but having written can be a joy because we know we have striven for something and won.