I’ve talked a lot–and no doubt will talk more, eventually–about how, at the heart of it, being a novelist is just a job like any other. How you have to sit down and get the job done when you never want to type another word, when you never want to *think* about story again, when you never want to worry about characterization or plot holes. It’s just a job.
Once in a while, though, you get days like I had today.
Today I wrote a scene that I’ve been anticipating for years. It played out *nothing* like my original drafts. Everything about it is different from what I thought it was going to be. It’s all a surprise, even though I’ve been waiting to write it for years.
And it’s wonderful.
Oh, I don’t know that the writing is terrific. I’m sure it can take some revisions, and there may be things in the lead-up that don’t need to be there. It’s not the Perfect Moment of writing where a hundred thousand words of story culminates into the apex. But the sheer glow of getting to a bit of the story that’s been waiting patiently, the delight of putting it down on the page and knowing its shape, the anticipation of things to come because of this moment…it’s wonderful. Leading up to it today made me happy, getting there made me happy, I’ve just been happy all day because of this one little bit of writing.
This is a *hard* job. I’ve been doing it long enough at this point that I don’t get that glow from finishing a manuscript anymore–frankly, I know I can do it, and the fact that I’ve finished one mostly just means I have to start another–and so a day like today, when I really do get that reward of “yay, this is fun!”, it really means a lot to me.
Hang on to those moments, people. Revel in them. *Especially* if you’re just starting out, because they do come fewer and farther between. Congratulate yourself on your successes. Share them with other people–with us here at MW, if nobody else. They’re important celebrations, even if they’re small.