Writing a novel is such a huge undertaking that writers run the gamut of emotions many times over during the process. I’m sure as the remaining months go by in which I finish up my work in progress, THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD, I will have times when I have doubts not just about what I have written but about whether I am capable of making the book as good as I want it to be. I’ll be amazed by surprises the characters have in store, and saddened and angered by some of the things that must happen to them. (I’d like to keep them all safe and happy, but that’s not the nature of either real or fictional lives.)
I’ve talked in the past in this diary about how writing can be so intimidating that I get scared to open the manuscript file on my computer. It’s hard to “go there” sometimes because the work is so intense and it takes so much out of me. Once I am into it again, I become so compulsive that my life patterns get more out of whack than I want them to. I can’t seem to stop writing, and when I make myself leave the computer, I can’t stop thinking about my book.
I took three weeks off in June to go to Spain and Portugal to research my novel in
progress, and when I returned, family obligations kept me away from my desk for another week. But now I’ve been back on the job for a few days, and to my surprise, I wasn’t hesitant to dive back in. In fact, I couldn’t wait. I already have the first seventy-five pages revised to include material from my travels and other improvements that come from knowing the characters better and seeing more clearly where the story is going.
I already sense the first signals I’m getting weird and compulsive about my novel in progress, but I don’t care. Writing is what I most love to do. And as I said, writers run the gamut of emotions. Right now, I am relishing the fact that I LOVE THIS BOOK! I love the characters, I love the setting, I love the history, I love the message, I love the story.
Hang in there, I tell myself. Charge forward! This can be the best work you’ve ever done. Everything is there. All it takes is me. The computer is glowing. I have a book to write.