>What Writing Really Is

>This from an article by Kate Douglas (appeared in Romantic Times 2006)

“When you love writing, when you love the words—the process as much as the finished product—it comes down to a very simple truth. The New York contract isn’t the Holy Grail. The Grail is not the advance or even the royalty checks.

“Writing—the process, the personal growth, the overall mind-blowing experience of writing—is what makes it all worthwhile. When I allowed the quest for a NY contract to become more important than the process of creation, I failed.

“When I wrote the stories I wanted to write, the way I wanted to write them, when I finally stayed on a path that led to my own satisfaction, the Grail fell softly into my lap. And, rocky road or not, it’s my road and I feel privileged to have traveled it.”

Hear that? The story writing is the best part. I say this for all my family members and in-laws and friends who don’t get how I can get up at 4 and sit in a chair all day long typing until I fall into bed at night…who think I’ve flipped my wig and am a little bit pathetic actually…who think I should be doing something else with my time. THAT’S why I do it. I do it for the “mind-blowing experience of it”…I do it because I love it.

Did you read that article on msn today about Harry Potter’s author, J.K. Rowling? She sat in a hotel (alone) and wrote the ending to the final book in the series and cried like a maniac. Note please, those of you who don’t write: she cried writing her own book. (Writers already know this happens…when you’re really going good, it does; people, writers live for those moments.)

Now that’s what I’m talking about…if you’ve written something that moved you that much (and you made it up, for heaven’s sakes! it’s not like it surprised you…or did it?), then you’ve found that place. It’s the writer’s place, the writers who don’t do it for the money or the fame or the booksignings… they do it because they love books.

There’s nothing more satisfying personally than creating something from nothing, more thrilling than coming up with a scene that is absolutely perfect in every way, so perfect in fact, you don’t even remember writing it. (I haven’t written many of these, but I’ve written a few, and it’s glorious.)

Books…and words…such power. From another pretty famous book: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Now, I’m not writing anything spirtual by any stretch, and there’s nothing supernatural about writing fiction. But I do understand words taking on a reality. I understand it because I sometimes, I can see it happening on the page, and I know it when I see it.

And I struggle to make it happen every single day.


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