Writing is an art.
It can be a dream. Or a lesson.
It can be an outlet. A challenge.
Writing isn’t technical like many try to point out. All of the plots and themes and characters that go into the stories we write are just the tip of the iceberg. The sentence structure and rewriting and research is just everything that comes along with it. Writing isn’t about working for the reader or getting the longest word count. Writing is how we deal with the world. Writing is how we express ourselves and entertain others.
It’s how we escape the world.
With writing, we can go anywhere, do anything, and it feels like a dream.
I’m Kelli Crockett. I’m an author close to publishing my second story, and I tend to find myself blogging about writing in the early hours of the morning… When I first went back to edit my upcoming novel, Holding My Breath, I kept laughing at myself.
Yes, literally laughing.
I didn’t remember some of the big things that happened throughout the book because I didn’t remember writing them. That’s why it was funny. It actually took me a few minutes to recall writing certain parts of my book. And this book is so important to me, you would think I’d remember writing it, every single scene…
It’s because, to me, those parts weren’t just words on a page. I lived those scenes. I thrived and breathed and lost myself in the story I was writing, and when I woke up from that special kind of dream, I forgot what exactly I had written about it. I was so involved in the story itself that I actually lost reality when I wrote it.
If that’s not zoning out, then I don’t know what is.
That’s why I write. I write to go places without leaving the comfort of my room. I write to work things out for myself. I write to put myself in others’ shoes. To fly free for even just a few minutes when the story gets really good.
And like I said, all of this glory is just the tip of the iceberg. The excitement of diving into the story and the allure of the keyboard in the early hours of the morning are all just the beginning.
We go through entire first drafts on a rush of caffeine and obsession. We write them in a constant state of daydreaming and excitement. We kind of just live in our heads for however long it takes to write our stories. You know what I’m talking about, when no matter how hard they try, nobody can pull you back into reality for more than an hour.
And even then, you have one foot on Earth and the other somewhere far, far away.
Even after you finish your first draft, you get to go back and reread it. Relive the entire thing over again. Think about it. With so many words in your novel, you won’t memorize them all after you’ve written them the first time. In fact, you’ll probably only remember how you described the things that really stood out to you. You might remember your first and last lines, the aha moments and the cute romantic ones. But you won’t remember it all.
It’s like reading a book. You know, only different. You remember exactly what happened in the story, but you might not be able to pull a direct quote from memory a week after finishing it.
So when you go back, you are reminded of that everlasting dream you wrote from. You see all of those words again and remember coming up with them (or don’t remember). And you can fall back in it all over again. That’s why I write.
Beyond the surface of writing, there are so many other things you can explore. There are so many worlds and characters and things you can venture into. Coming up with characters, living through them, will make you start to see the world in a different light. Creating new universes and societies and changing the laws of nature only throw you into a deeper spiral of exploration. You can learn so much from writing. About yourself. About others. About everything around you. You can teach it all, too. The reader is there to listen to what you’ve found on your travels. It’s your job to guide them on your path as well.
Mark Twain said that, “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
The sarcasm in this is what makes it so true. Writing isn’t easy. The best things you can achieve in life, the greatest lessons you can learn, are never easy. Writing is an art, but it’s also one of those highly held goals. To cross out all of the wrong words, however, isn’t the point. You don’t cross out the wrong words. You don’t block off any of your possibilities. Instead, with writing, you make new ones. You choose hundreds of different paths through them, thousands of different words. The possibilities with writing are endless.
It takes time. It takes work. It takes sacrifices that you might not want to give up. But it’s all worth it, in the end, when you hold a copy of your story in your hands. Or someone thanks you for writing the story they enjoyed reading. When you meet other writers and authors who understand that feeling of getting carried away.
My challenge for you is to fall into your story. Forget about all of the technical stuff, the word counts and the syntax. Don’t think about all of your deadlines or what other people are going to think about what you are doing. Just take a breath and dive in. Live through the characters. Live through the world. Lose yourself.
If you do that, you’ll come back out with something bigger. Maybe you learn something, or maybe you find something, but either way, it’s worth the work.
Like this post if you liked it, and you can follow my website via email, WordPress, or on my twitter. If you would like to read the novel I referenced in this post before it’s published (and be in the acknowledgments of it), click here to participate in the beta reading.
Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!