By Jason Meadors
When it flows for me.
When the epiphany first hits, I can't trust it's going to stick or come again later, although sometimes that does happen. I have to write it down. For ideas in the shower, this can get a little awkward.
And then inspiration hits, an intriguing twist, the link that brings scenes
together, that burst of a surprise for an ending. It's an awesome feeling.
|Credit to Bill Watterson|
We all seek affirmation in our writing. If I tell a story that resonates and people say, "OMG! Couldn't put it down!" it makes life worth living, or at least writing worth writing. We won't talk about the "meh" or "boring!" or noticeably-silent reactions.
In my own job, I compete against competitors. I want to work hard,
hone my skills, stay on top of current professional trends, and outperform
them so when potential consumers are making a choice they choose me.
Story-telling isn't like that. If you prefer a genre, an author's style and content, you buy it, regardless of who else is writing. The story sold case closed. Competition isn't part of it.
Part of our pitch is to offer known authors whose style or pacing or tone we resemble, but I don't feel inadequate if I'm not at their level. I'm glad there's enough literary interest out there to keep authors fed and Scotch-and-watered. Maybe that'll be me someday.
Writing fulfills me in a way a wage-earning job can't, even if
I liked my job, and I do.
The thrill of The Chase.
When I'm closing in on the finale, threads have been tied up, suspense points made, characters fleshed out, the resolution achieved, and the reader is wowed. There's just not a better feeling. Really, there isn't.
It's hard to explain. I don't know what hitting a home run or scoring a touchdown in a big game is like. But typing "The End" must be akin to the revelry of victory. It's inexpressible triumph, no matter how much editing yet remains.
Nitpicking The Details.
Editing is the bane of a lot of writers. I actually enjoy going back over my story, picking better vocabulary, cleaning up the grammar, fleshing out the descriptions, and making it into something I'd want to pick up off the shelf. Granted, I haven't had the joy of a publisher's editor sending back a manuscript that's dripping in red ink. I bet that's a joy. Not really.
Whether people buy my stories, I'm going to keep writing. Whether it's to take up time, or to keep my coterie of readers happy, or just because something's begging to be told, it's going to end up in print. If it doesn't sell, oh well. If it does sell, refer back to Affirmation.