“How’s it going?” a friend asked. “Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?”
He was asking about my novel in progress. Like many people, he was speaking cliche-ese. I’m not in a tunnel, and I’m not looking for a light when I’m writing a novel. I once may have thought that way, but I’ve changed. The light would mean there’s hope ahead.
I’m enjoying the writing journey, so there’s no need for a light. The process can sometimes rival a clogged toilet’s mess, but it’s well damn lit.
“What will you do after you’re done?” Bill asked. “Will you write another?”
It’s a question from outside the circle of writers, and again, is common in cliche-land. Bizarre, to me. In sports, the assumption is that you’re going to keep going as long as body, will and team allows. Likewise, that’s how it seems to go in performing arts like acting and singing. Why, then, assume that a writer will be one and done?
After our pleasantries, I walked on but stayed with the topic in thought. I have a novel in progress and two in the wings. Five more, perhaps more than that, have a first draft completed, and require editing, revising and publishing. I don’t know when I’ll give them the attention they deserve. I’ve begun to think that I’ll work on them if I don’t have anything to write.
It’s peculiar to think that there can be a time when I don’t have anything to write. Reading others always stimulates my writing desires, as does watching television and movies, traveling, conversations with friends, and the news. On any given day, I think, “Oh, I can write a novel about that,” or, “That can be the start to a good novel.”
The only permanent elements of life are change and uncertainty, though. Maybe death, too; it depends on your philosophy. I can’t predict that I’ll write until my death or that I’ll always have story ideas. I don’t know what’ll happen to my brain and my body, or our society. But, basically, I’m not in a tunnel, looking for a light. I’m on a plain of light, following the words.
Time to write like crazy – or edit and revise (like crazy?) – at least one more time.