A loooooong process. Like climbing Mount Everest. Overcoming a 10 year depression. Conquering those negative thoughts that stop you from being happy, stepping out of your comfort zone, finding love, making friends, achieving your goals, pursuing your dreams, loving yourself. Beating that bad habit of opening a bottle of wine after a stressful day, or tearing your hair out until you have a small bald patch. Like suppressing the shyness and coming out of your shell, fighting the social anxiety that chains you daily and gaining control of your emotions.
Writing is a long process. A long, drawn, winded out process with no finish line in sight. A marathon! A marathon you hardly trained for but you choose to start running anyway. Except, you’ve run out of steam halfway through and now you have to stop. Your chest hurts. Hands on thighs, you’re coughing and wheezing as you’ve ran out of breath. You feel like you’re dying inside but you must carry on, even if that means limping like an injured dog whilst clutching your chest, your legs aching now from all of that running.
I thought this thing would be easy when I first started. Back when I was 16 years of age and still in high school, I decided to chill one day in the library during lunch. I hopped onto a computer and started writing. It wasn’t a part of my homework, I was writing for fun. That’s what I did back then when the internet wasn’t the force of reckoning that it is today. Over the course of an hour, I was halfway through writing a synopsis of a story I’d come up with on the spot. I was so into the process of writing this story, that the next day I returned to the library and finished it. I was really impressed with my written work of art.
I printed the synopsis and took it home with me. When I showed my Mum, she mentioned something off the cuff about getting it published. A lightbulb switched on inside of my head. It was like from that moment I knew. That was the path I would go down. I would be an author. A J.K Rowling. A Stephen King. I could see the end goal in sight. In my hands I had the next big thing. The next blockbuster film! Once I wrote the full book I would see the fame, glory and success of an author. I would be raking in the money! A millionaire from this one story I had written. The people that made fun of me when I could clearly hear them or looked down on me, or abandoned me in favour of the popular kids would notice me. Bet you wished you liked me now! Bet you wished you could cruise with me on my yacht or chillax with me in my hundred acre pool. Loser.
Let’s be clear here, when I was 16 years old I was idealistic as hell. I actually thought that by the age of 21 I would be living the high life. I’d be living in some mansion with thousands upon thousands of pounds. Scratch, that, millions of pounds! I’d have the money to buy my Mum a house and pay her back for the times I’d been a difficult teenage girl to deal with.
Little did I know the actual work that went into writing a book. 5 years I’d spent, planning my very first novel. Countless times I’d begun to write the first draft and scrapped it. Written the plot and changed it. The amount of time I spent researching how to write an actual novel. Create a fantasy world. Complex characters. Learnt the art of show and not tell. The works.
I’d finally written the first draft at 21 when I was almost done with college. It was a pile of dog poop but of course I didn’t know this at the time. I’d continued rewriting drafts of my novel until I was finally ready to send my child off to school, aka Literary Agents. Needless to say that didn’t work out too well for me.
Yes, writing is a process, a loooooooong process but what can I say? I’m in it for the long haul.