The process of writing a book involves many stages, from the inkling of an idea to making plans and researching, before writing the story, followed by editing…then, wondering how to sell it!
Of all of the stages, editing is my least favourite, and as for marketing my novels, I’m as confused a dunce now as I was five years ago.
For me, the best part of the process is the actual writing: I come alive when I return to the keyboard. Steve McQueen encapsulated the excitement of doing something he loved—racing—and I feel the same way about writing.
I’m intrigued to see what happens next, for whatever plans I’ve made and however inventive I am, there’s still an unknowable element that appears while I write.
I split into three parts: creator, critic and reader, watching the story coalesce. Not every author feels the same way:
‘My greatest fear is of suddenly feeling that to devote so much of my life to writing is meaningless. It’s a sensation that I’ve felt very often, and I’m afraid that I will again. I need a lot of determination, a stubborn, passionate adherence to the page, not to feel the urgency of other things to do, a more active way of spending my life. So yes, I’m fragile. It’s all too easy for me to notice the other things and feel guilty. And so it’s pride that I need, more than strength. While I’m writing, I have to believe that it’s up to me to tell this or that story, and that it would be wrong to avoid it or not to complete it to the best of my abilities.’
Elena Ferrante, author of My Brilliant Friend and four other Neapolitan Novels. P.G. Wodehouse
Other authors don’t have any guilt about writing:
‘Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.’
‘I never want to see anyone, and I never want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to write.’
I previously posted on ‘How do your Stories make People Feel?‘ but how do you feel when writing those stories?
I feel like this lion: