In the past month, family obligations have reduced my writing time and focus. That’s okay. I’m not in a race. Writing is not my day job. It is one of my joys. It is my mental treat after a long day or an invigorating jump-start to a new one.
The older I get, the more I realize that I can’t do everything well. Some days/weeks/months, if I only do one thing well, I consider myself a success. Or if I manage to handle three things in an average fashion without disaster, I am a success. And sometimes just surviving, even in a pathetic, embarrassing way, is a success.
Never giving up on a good thing, is a good thing.
Now how does this relate to my writing?
Every novel starts out with a fun, exciting idea. Somewhere in the middle of the first draft, I begin to believe that I’m the only person in the world who is going to like my story. It takes guts to tell myself that even if no one else likes it, that’s fine. I don’t write for the world anyway. I write for myself because I love creating stories.
At about the 60% mark, I wonder if I like it.
Then around 70% the ending starts to be exciting. By 90% I am usually so thrilled with the pending happily-ever-after that I want to bore all my family members and friends with my funny/clever/interesting plot twists.
And at 100%, the critic appears. I’ve got a draft. Now it’s time to see what’s actually on the page, as opposed to what I thought I was writing. Back to work.
But it really is fun. That’s why I write. I don’t mind the work when it’s fun.