As I am writing through my fifth novel, I have come to an understanding that there are two things that make finishing a novel hard.
1. Finding the time. I imagine maybe bestselling writers who write full time do not have this issue, but I do. I also hear this from a lot of writers I know. Life is demanding. I have complained about it on this blog many times. For me, the creation is not hard. Yes, I get stuck sometimes. Yes, I have to fight with my characters to figure out what story they want to tell. But, I must be crazy, because I enjoy that. My trouble is finding the time to sit down with my characters and record their movements. Certain times of year are worse than others. August and May are bad because I teach. School is kicking back up in August and ending in May. Both are stressful for their own reasons. Another bad month is December. The holiday season and the end of the first semester of school make for a disastrous writing atmosphere. I look forward to the summer, when I have more time. But, as I have said before, it is also important to make time, even when it feels impossible.
2. Having the confidence to continue. This business is tough. I often wonder if one of these days a rejection letter will come and that will be the one to finally break my spirit. It hasn’t happened yet…mainly because I am just as stubborn as my father. I go through cycles. I can drive forward seeing only the good and the passion in my work. Then I will go through spells where I dip into darkness, seeing only what I perceive is the flaws in my writing and the mounting rejections from magazines and agents. In these times, I, of course, don’t always look at the present, but the entire group as a whole. I try to remember that many people write…and of them a whole lot are really good. Doesn’t mean I’m not. I am just competing for attention, and, for someone who prefers to be alone sometimes, that is hard. I have to maintain the confidence in myself and my work. I have to remember that life is a roller coaster and I am along for the ride.
I wish life can be like the story’s I write. It is a lot easier to create circumstances and manipulate people’s reactions for the sake of the plot. Most of all, it is great knowing the ending as I plough through. But, I guess that would make life no fun. The excitement is in the ride. I just have to remember my love of writing and try not to let the outside factors push me down.