I'm a winner... of sorts. I participated in National Novel Writing Month, intending to get fifty thousand words committed to a document, intending to make a good start to writing another Romance novel set in contemporary Colorado, some sort of adventure to take place in some part of this great state where very few people venture. Last year I did it. I'm a seasoned vet. It shouldn't be that hard, right?
When last year's effort seemed to breeze into and out of my life, I marveled at how few people were in the winner's circle with me. Dis wuz E-Z! Why didn't everyone come through with 50K?
Well, I know now why. To write a novel is very hard work, made harder by lack of planning and lack of commitment. Last year, I spent the last two weeks of October writing out note cards, doing character sketches, playing with outlines - everything allowed in the "rules". This year, I didn't even settle on a story until November 3rd, and it took me two weeks to convince myself that it was the right story. Hell, I'm still not convinced it's a full novel, and those thoughts in the back of my mind are making me question every word, every scene, every character I create. I'm struggling in a way I don't remember ever struggling to write before.
And this makes me a winner. You know why? Because now I truly appreciate how hard the act of creation can be, and I cherish every angst about my craft because it is a growing pain. I'm a better writer for it, and I will keep writing no matter the pain it causes.
I'm a winner.