And how right is that proverb?
Tough times might feed our anxieties but they nurture our resolve, and this ultimately makes us stronger people.
It’s the same for writing.
Sat here where I’m now sat, on the tail end of writing Frienemy, I feel like a round hard won, the game ongoing, and I feel weary and invigorated, and a glutton for punishment, because — already — I’m in the opening throws of a second game with a new book, and not just a lonesome book but a series of the little blighters — a novella and two are so far queued.
I must be crazy — Frienemy proved an emotional journey full of joy and misery, celebration and rage, and this was surprising because I didn’t expect it. I didn’t expect the story to become more real than reality itself, and I most certainly didn’t expect the characters to emerge from Word, fall in to huddle around me, and follow me, and all day argue that they didn’t agree with what I was making them do nor in how I was making them do it. Of my thoughts that Frienemy was a simple tale of revenge gone wrong — a peach to write — I couldn’t have been more wrong:
- A plan that hid a chasmic plot hole;
- Characters whom I only now know;
- My limitations in knowing how to say things, describe things, give power to a string of words…
Today, though, I can finally stand and dust myself off after smashing down to Earth six years ago, and I can survey my creation, my reality contained, and see how much I’ve grown since first I dabbled in English — from unfinished manuscripts and quarter-stories to a whole one, complete and printed, sat on my coffee table. At long last all those drafts upon drafts upon yet another draft have delivered the near-mirror of my intention. Frienemy is complete — okay, so it needs one final spritz before I promise it’s done — but then, can’t everything be spritzed for ever?
After travelling along that rough road, after hating my every single word, after considering near daily that I should just throw in the towel, I find that I now appreciate all those dark months endured, that I now adore those good weeks, too, and that I’ll miss my Frienemy posse — we’ve been through a lot but the time has come to say ‘good luck’.
I may not be an expert – I’m no where near, in fact, I’ve still got an awful lot to learn – but as a writer, a novice, I am stronger. I have found my voice – my style is determined and being honed – and I’ve the will to return my finger to the keyboard, which is something I consider pretty cool.