Good morning, Wordsmith!
Today, right now, this very moment, marks the beginning of my nine-week series, 9 Truths For A Writer’s Soul.
*Drums boom, a chicken squawks, somewhere in the distance a goat is bleating*
Are you excited? Because I totally, totally am!
Today’s post is all about the journey. As a writer, no matter if you started yesterday or if you’ve been writing for ten years, you’ve got a journey ahead of you. When the idea takes shape and you begin that first chapter, you have a journey ahead of you. When you type The End, you have a journey ahead of you.
And writer, when your book is sitting on the shelf in bookstores, you have a journey ahead of you.
Writer, it is all about the journey.
You have a long way to go. Nothing in a writer’s journey can be hurried. The moments are where the magic happens, and if you skip the moments, you sabotage your book and your career. Every word you write is important, no matter if it ends up in the final draft or if you trash it immediately.
This is not a straight race, beginning to end. This is a mountain hike, with unexpected valleys, long detours, and beautiful sights along the way. Paths get blocked, directions confused, and the top means so much less than the hike to get there.
The most important thing you can learn as a writer is to treasure the journey.
You know what’s strange? I don’t remember how long it took me to finish my first draft. It might have been a year. Maybe less, maybe more. I don’t actually remember.
Do you know what I do remember?
The exact moment I typed The End. The moment I realized I had actually written an entire book. I remember where I was, how the page looked, and how empowered I felt.
That milestone was beautiful. It was important. It meant something.
But, in the end, it was one moment. And a writer’s life is made up of moments. As much as I valued that milestone—and celebrated it—it’s not why I continue.
I continue for the quiet chapters.
The sentences that catch my breath.
The characters that make me cry.
The milestones are beautiful, writer, but the journey is what makes it worthwhile.
Four Tips To Apply It In Your Own Life
1. Love the story. Love your characters. Take pleasure in what you’re writing. Learn to enjoy the way the story plays out, how the words sound in your head, how the scenes taste and feel and sound. When you take pleasure in every sentence and every scene, it will matter less how far you still have to go.
2. Remember that it won’t last forever. No task is endless. No story lasts forever. Someday you’ll have a completed manuscript or a published book to hold in your hands, and you will miss the thrill of discovering it for the first time. Don’t take these moments for granted. Ever.
3. Take breaks when you need them. Rest. Pause. Read. Inhale. Your life is more than a story and your career is more than one book. Pursue other hobbies, enjoy your friends, live your life. Your work will only ever benefit when you return to it.
4. Spend your time feeling privileged instead of discouraged. You’re a writer. It’s a joy, not a drudge. You chose this. Now it’s time to remember that you love it.
Good luck, dearest writer! May your tea be hot and your dreams wild.
Was this post helpful to you? Tell me about it in the comments, and drop in any tips of your own! I would love to hear about it.