Reading it now, today, I can see the truth and wisdom in every item. But I will confess, if I'd read it the day I typed "The End" for the first time, I would have hoped this stuff wasn't true or wouldn't be true for me. The excitement that comes with finishing the first big project is just huge. HUGE. Getting to the end is like a double shot of joy after all the work, doubt, and pain -Will I be able to finish it? Will I get bored? Will my umph just dwindle to nothing, and one day, I'll find this file on my hard drive and say 'oh, that was a fun thing while it lasted?' No wonder so many newbies rush out to share their work.
This process of becoming a writer takes an immense amount of time. I was talking about this with a friend of mine (you know who you are, Ghenet) after yesterday's Crazy in Love Workshop hosted by the NY chapter of The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, which was awesome by the way (more on that later). And even though many of us are writers long before we're published authors, I really do mean those words: becoming a writer takes an immense amount of time. Because it's more than just writing (although, don't get me wrong, writing is the most important part of it). So much learning takes place on so many levels from the time we type (or pen) our first words to the point when we are finally published. It all takes forever: those first steps from beginning to the middle phase, what writer and photographer Jodi Kendall calls the nearly-there stage. And, as the excellent faculty at yesterday's conference pointed out, even when you're published, there's a whole new world of learning and firsts to accomplish.
Maybe that's not bad news, but let's face it, it's not exactly heartening either.
Now, after typing "The End" on three novels and six short stories, I can definitely say that whatever spark fueled me through that first book is only bigger. HUGE. So, that's the good news for those of us early on in our writing careers. The passion won't dwindle along the way. It only gets bigger. I love all my projects. Love. Yet my excitement over each new idea is even greater than the last.
So don't worry.
It may take a long time, ridiculous amounts of patience, the ability to swallow disappointment; and we may have tons of learning and growing to do before we get there, but if we truly are writers, we've got the journey in us. It's there already, right now. We just have to walk the path to the end.