News flash: Writing a novel is hard. Not climbing Mt. Everest hard. Not mining coal hard. Not resisting the urge to discuss politics on the internet hard. But it sure ain't easy. In fact, there are times it feels like you're slowly driving a spike between your eyes, one tap of the hammer per day over the course of months. And every so often as you're about to send another quarter inch of steel into your forehead, you have to pause and ask yourself, "Wait...why am I doing this?"
But I haven't put down the hammer yet. I've asked myself that "Wait...why?" question a lot over the years, so I know all the ways to answer it.
- Answer #1: Because writing a book is hard, but having written a book is wonderful.
- Answer #2: Because I have so many damn ideas, and if I don't keep turning them into books and stories they'll taunt and torture me forever.
- Answer #3: Because other writers' stories have helped me cope with (or at least temporarily ignore) the fact that life can be painful and the world isn't fair, and I know there are readers out there who get the same escape through my stories.
- Answer #4: Because I'm not rich, and cash comes in handy.
- Answer #5: Because a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. (This applies to women, as well.)
- Answer #6: Because EGO, baby!
So if you're wondering how my next book is going...well, look at the first sentence of this post. I usually have a crisis of confidence about 20,000 words into a novel, but this time I decided to pick up the pace a bit and start freaking out 15,000 words in. The last few chapters have been a tough slog as a result.
But you know what? It's Hammer Time. I'm going right back to the book the moment I finish this.
Because Answer #7: I'm too stubborn to quit.