Last week I went out for a drink with a friend of mine who works in finance. His career is based on facts and figures, so he’s fascinated that mine relies entirely on my imagination. How do you write an entire book? He wanted to know. How does it work?
I explained to him that often when I’m working on a manuscript I don’t exactly know what I’m doing or where I’m going, but that I keep at it day after day, week after week, and eventually things begin to fall into place. Things rarely unfold the way I think they will at the onset, but I have to just go with it – and stick with it – and see what happens over time.
He nodded and made a simple yet profound statement: “So, you just commit to the process.”
Yes, I commit to the process.
So much about writing a book is just sticking with it over time. Much like losing a significant amount of weight, crafting an entire novel isn’t going to happen overnight, or in a few days, weeks, or even months. But if you want to be an author you can’t give up, no matter how much you may want to. If you want to reach the end line, you have to stay committed to the process.
When my friend made his comment he was simply trying to wrap his head around what goes into writing a book, but I’m grateful to him for the clarity he brought to my profession. To write a book you have to just sit down and do it. You won’t write the whole thing today, and on some days you won’t write much at all, but if you keep at it, eventually you’ll get there.
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