Last week I had an epiphany that I would like to share with you. It came to me following a lunch date with a fellow writer/friend. She had devoted about three months to her novel and for all intent and purposes, it was turning out to be a good story. However, after realizing how frustrating and pain staking the process is, my friend decided to throw in the towel. You can imagine my surprise. After all, this person is an over-achiever. For as long as I’ve known her the word quit was not in her vocabulary. Yet, when the going got tough on the writer’s road to publishing, my friend abandoned her journey.
On the drive home that day, I wondered what it was about the carrot that enticed me to follow the stick for the last fifteen months. After all, there is no guarantee my work will ever be published. For that matter, I may have written three-hundred and eighteen pages of drivel. Yet, day after day, month after month I immerse myself in the world I’ve constructed.
I finally realized that sheer love of the craft, the innate need to create is what lures me to the carrot. For as long as I can remember I have been writing. It is as natural as breathing. This doesn’t mean I’m good at it, but when my manuscript is completed I will take pride in knowing I created a world that never existed before I put pen to paper. This, in and of itself is the reward. I have come to believe that those writers who persevere do so because they are getting something that surpasses the validation of publication. No one else would put themselves through such a hell unless they loved what they were doing. This said, I’d be interested to know what your “carrot” is. What keeps you on the writing road? Until next time, happy writing.