12 Days of Books: Creating a Story

Over the 12 Days of Books Giveaway, I’m sharing a little about my writing journey so far. And, of course, new ways to enter to win!

It took me five long years to write Mud.

It was the first thing I ever wrote, and I had no idea how to do it. I had no idea where to start, and I had no idea how to get the work done.

Heck. I had no idea just how much work it would take.

The whole 9 to 5 thing was just fine, but there was something in me that it wasn’t fulfilling. I needed something creative to fill it … something that was totally and completely mine, and did not have to be approved by a supervisor, did not have to be presented to a client, something to just be a playground.

I was already a writer, professionally. And I’d been reading my entire life. So, I decided, I would write a book.

I had no idea where to start, so I just started at the beginning.

The story came out one tiny drip at a time, forced into the edges of my life while everything else kept going at full force. Over time I learned how to harness some momentum by getting up a little early each day, and over time I expanded that time to about an hour.

Completing the story often felt like a task that had no end. Each day I’d get maybe another 200 words on the page—some of them okay, a lot of them that would need to be reworked or even deleted later—out of the hypothetical 75,000 it would take to craft a full-length manuscript.

The way it grew often felt so slow that I had to remind myself that it was, in fact, growing. After all, even if it was just another 200 words, it was 200 more words, 200 more than I had yesterday, 200 more to the finish line. Rationally, there had to be an end out there, and I had to be getting closer to it.

And eventually, finally, I did finish. And then the process starts all over again, with a new book.

And that’s really the whole point, when it comes down to it.

Writing is not the finished product. Writing—any art, really—is the process. You have to throw yourself into the process, for the process’s sake.

And that, right there, is the real point of creative work. It fulfills something unstoppable within us.

What do you create?

New ways to win, every day until Christmas Eve

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