So you work on a novel for, oh, let’s say six years, and you’re tired in a million ways. You’re wondering, Why would I ever, ever do this to myself again–besides the fact that you have to do it again, because you have a two-book contract. (You’re sure to throw in a little self-recrimination too, because you’re complaining and how many writer friends would want a two-book contract?) And then, a miracle happens.
People like your book. They’re reading it–like, really reading it. And they’re enjoying it, or so they say. And it reminds you of making cheesecake–the hours you’d spend in the kitchen, bent over that cheesecake, babying that cheesecake, making the pastry crust and lining it with dark chocolate, and integrating the raspberry topping into the batter. It reminds you of the cheesecake because as you are dealing with the backache of making that cheesecake you are asking yourself, “Why, oh why, do I do this? This can’t be worth it!” But then, later, your brother-in-law, who requested the cake for his big 3-0 dinner, takes a bite and his face turns a million shades of happy; or a complete stranger approaches you at a party and says in a soft-serious mutter, “Thank you for making this. It is divine.”
I will write again, not because I have a two-book contract (oh, okay, okay, I will, but just listen a second); I will write again, because of emails like this:
I finished reading your book a few days ago and I wanted to tell you what I thought about it. I really enjoyed it and I’m so happy to have found it. It was the kind of read that kept me thinking for days- at work, at home, and in class. That is when I know a book is really good- when it keeps me thinking, when I wish I hadn’t already finished that novel.
That not only makes me happy, it provides me with fuel and makes me want to keep on keeping on. How about you? What motivates you to write?
Next week: How to build a Facebook Ad!
Photo courtesy Flickr’s adactio.