You’ve heard the saying, “No pain, no gain,” right? Yeah, I always kind of wondered what would be worth experiencing pain in order to, well, gain.
When I first started on this journey of writing a novel, I approached it with excitement and a naive confidence of, “Sure, my first draft is FANTASTIC, and who wouldn’t want to snatch it up?” I suppose I wouldn’t have had the bravery to even attempt writing a novel if I hadn’t.
Two years and countless writing hours later, I’m still totally excited about writing. But I’m certainly not naive. The bumps in the road have been PAINFUL. And HARD. And DISCOURAGING. And DISAPPOINTING.
Yes, I’ve experienced all those things. You know what I mean. You spend months working on something, developing the plot, perfecting the characterization, making the words sound pretty. Then you type, THE END, and you’re all set, right?
Maybe you’ve heard this before, but typing THE END is really THE BEGINNING.
Think back to when your initial steps on the writing road. Did you ever in your wildest imagination believe that finishing the first draft was like hitting the first mile marker of a 100 mile race?
Tell me, if you had known that you were essentially still in the warm up phase, would you have kept going?
Any logical person would have to wonder about someone purposely choosing such torment, but maybe that’s a post for Mental Health Monday, LOL!
Encouraging, isn’t it? 😉
Well, let me give an analogy. Twelve years ago, I started on a journey to become a psychiatrist. Four years of undergrad, four years of med school, four years of residency. Each time I walked across the stage to get my diploma, I thought, “Wow. I made it!” only to realize, “Oh, crap. I gotta start over!”
Going through it was PAINFUL. And HARD. And DISCOURAGING. And, at times, DISAPPOINTING. (See any parallels? LOL!)
Now that I’m “done,” I can see that it was totally worth it.
The REAL kicker? I’ve also learned that being DONE with the training doesn’t mean I’m done learning. Not by a long shot. That twelve years I talked about? That was the rough draft.
THE END of residency meant THE BEGINNING of real life learning. Holy crap. That means I’ve got my WHOLE LIFE to learn my craft!
You know what that means?
I’ve certainly come a long way, but heck, I’ve certainly got a long way to go. Huh. That kind of changes my perspective. Now it’s more about the process, the every day work.
Are you wondering what happened with this shift in thinking?
Okay, so I admit achieving mastery is still important (I’m referring to mastering the art of psychiatry AND the art of writing), but I’m less concerned with MAKING IT. Why? Well, on some level, by not giving up, by keeping going, by focusing on the learning and the growth, I already have MADE IT.
So tell me, whaddya all think of this perspective? Do you agree? Disagree? Am I deluding myself? *grin*