Join me each month as I share a myth from my book The 9 Biggest Writing Myths (and how to move beyond them). This month we’ll explore the myth about having to love the project you’re working on.
Beginning a writing project is like entering a marriage. You willingly make a long-term commitment to have and to hold till publication do you part.
You begin your relationship with an idea that makes you all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Your heart and mind race at all the endless possibilities, all the incredible things you and your project will do together. World watch out!
The honeymoon lasts for several glorious days or weeks, and then suddenly, your perfect union seems, well, not so perfect. And you panic. Where, how, did this happen?
Truth is, nothing really happened—except the inevitable. Your heaven-made marriage has tumbled onto a more earthly plane. It happens to all marriages, and it happens to all writing projects.
Books, articles, plays, marriages—all are imperfect. They’re multifaceted, multidimensional creations, a mishmash of good and bad qualities. While they touch our souls, make us think, compel us to grow, they also demand too much, cause us anxiety, and occasionally bore us to tears. So it goes.
Some writers reach this point and start thinking divorce and flirting with any new, hot-looking idea that comes along. Others remember their vows and understand, perhaps for the first time, the true meaning of commitment. These are the writers who finish their writing projects.
Commit to being that writer.
Accept that your marriage—the writing process itself—is imperfect. Accept that you will be asked by your project (aka your spouse) to do things you simply don’t want to do—to research, transcribe notes, interview strangers, find an agent, even write. Accept, too, that you can have meaningful, absolutely terrific relationship nonetheless, one that brings you great pride and comfort.