Becca over at: Being Becca recently sent me a lovely little message requesting that I write a post about the journey of writing a book.
The basic gist of it is this though:
The problem is, your fingers will start leaking like freaking lactating breasts in the middle of the night.
You'll wake up at all hours - FILLED to the brim with inspiration, thoughts and ideas.
Be prepared for seriously irregular sleeping cycles.
Writing will kidnap you.
I easily get lost in writing my novels - so when I finally look at a clock I'm shocked and wonder where all the hours went!
So here's a heads-up: get your other shit done before you settle down to pump out a few pages.
Writing is a beautiful thing.
You can do it anywhere in the world - which is fantastic for those of us who love to travel. But this post isn't about travel so let me not get off track by discussing my second love.......
My point is this: yes, writing can be done anywhere. But it is important to feel comfortable and happy in the place you choose to write.
A writer needs to make their own little 'Writers Den,' if you will.
Fill this room with all of your favorite things - for instance mine has to be painted and scattered with warm, rich colors like maroons and golds; crammed with inviting bottles of wine, type-writers, incense, candles, an abundant supply of pillows and blankets, soothing music with incredible lyrics, a dozen notebooks to scribble ideas in, pens galore, paintings, sculptures, my absolute favorite books and of course, a copy of my first book: Walk With Me.
My book is perched right beside my type-writer - which I admire every single day.
I don't think you'll ever get used to holding your own, edited, printed and bound novel in your hands. Flicking through the pages and realizing each and every word inside that book comes directly from you.
It's just a beautifully overwhelming, satisfying feeling.
Another wonderful thing I love to do is go somewhere unique and different to write.
Have a change in scenery.
I often take myself off to little beach bars and into the forests, onto some train tracks above the ocean or out for a cocktail at a little bistro with my trusty laptop and notebook.
Time to backtrack....
if you're anything like unorganized me, I don't really tend to mind-map. I know this is usually the biggest no-no BUUUUUUUT rules are made to be broken..... hehe. We're writers after all.
I work like this... if I'm hit with inspiration, I crack open my laptop and start to write. I have no idea what I'm going to write until it has been written - pretty much like when I speak to people generally. No filter.
As fun and as unpredictable as this chosen way to write may be - it also makes you need to backtrack fairly often.
I end up needing to reread if not the entire book then at least the most recent couple of chapters so that I know I am entirely on par with my own story-line.
Resenting your own work...
Obviously with rereading your own words over and over again - dedicating the majority of your life to this beautiful novel you once fantasized about.... you end up realizing that it isn't all glitz and glam like you once believed writing to be.
Due to spending such a large slice of deviously icing covered time on your work - you'll end up hating the sight of it at times.
When I finally completed the final editing stages of my book and received a batch of the thing in print - it was a bittersweet feeling.
I was so bored of it by then that I didn't even want anyone else to look at it and it took me absolutely AGES to work up the courage to distribute it.
It will never be complete....
This is a biggie to learn. Mkay?
Obviously, I have flicked through my book a number of times and each time I spot a new mistake. Whether it be spelling, grammar or just a spacing mistake - those little gremlins will always be there.
I personally didn't hire an editor so it's really no surprise the quality isn't top notch but you know what? Even some of the most popular, well-known books around that were edited by 'the best' editors have mistakes too.
You need to learn to kick your book from the proverbial nest and let it build it's own wings and fly on the way down.
Write drunk, edit sober.
This is something I used to nod my head at appreciatively and say: 'I concur!' - until my wine bills rose dramatically - so did the amount of editing I needed to do.
I still love writing with a delicious
I've been able to pour out some of my most amazing chapters while on my lunch break actually, sipping on some green tea on the galleries ancient cracked red leather sofa and listening to some mellow jazz tunes.
Prioritizing and Inspiration....
I'd say that one of the hardest parts about being a writer is knowing when to write.
Often, too often actually, I feel most inspired AS I've walked through the doors to work. Which SUCKS - you know, because then you've got work to do but your practically foaming at the mouth with the need to write.
It's a huge inconvenience.
This will be an issue that will probably never go away...
So is the fact that inspiration will also happen over the weekends while your friends are all gearing up for fun, fun fun!
This is where you need to choose... friends or writing.
If you choose writing be prepared to be called a series of names by said friends such as, 'Lame.'
(Pssst... they'll never understand....)
By choosing writing you'll also most likely see a lovely new album appear on Facebook, showing you just how much fun they had while you stayed home sporting baggy sweat pants, a messy bun with a pen shoved through the hair-tie, reading glasses perched on the bridge of your nose and sipping on tea.
IF you choose friends over writing however, then you'll probably be spending the entire time THINKING about writing and dying to get away.
Knowing that your writing will never be everyone's cup of tea is also a huge thing to come to terms with.
If you manage to get agents and publishers involved in your work (which is so bloody hard it's actually ridiculous,) then you need to know that the chances of receiving rejection letters and critical comments are high.
Instead of letting this kick you down and making you feel like you're hopeless - learn from it.
We ALL started somewhere.
You'll find someone that absolutely adores your novel and relates wholeheartedly to it. Then you'll get someone who thinks it's the biggest pile of crap they've ever heard of.
That's life. We're all different - and if we all enjoyed the same things, life would be pretty boring if you ask me.
If you're lucky enough to have the drive and the yearning to put pen to paper, then let that yearning be set free. Spend time with it. Enjoy it. Revel in it.
It will be your best friend and your mortal enemy at the same time.
You'll have a love / hate relationship with it.