Thursday, April 25, 2013

U is for Unconditional Love

A lot of parents claim they have an unconditional love for their children. And I believe most of those parents. But what does unconditional love mean for writers? Lately, for me it feels like I've had a sort of love-hate relationship with my writing. I love to write, but it's so painful sometimes that I just hate it and I can't bring myself to put words on the page.

I've been working on a novel for three years. I know, to some people three years is nothing compared to how long they spend on one novel. But, it seems like it's been SO LONG to me. I feel this sort of urgency to be finished with my novel and on the hunt for an agent and an editor and a publishing house.

I think my problem is I don't love writing unconditionally. When the scenes get hard and I don't know what terrible things a character could possibly say to ratchet up the tension, I just avoid writing. True writers love even the most difficult, most murky middle part of their stories.

Maybe I'm being a little hard on myself. I like the hard stuff. I love to read those scenes that irk me and make me want to scream at the characters and ask them what on earth are they thinking! And, as much as I complain about it sometimes, I really love to edit and re-write (and even delete) those beautiful scenes of mine. But, does my writing really know that? Do my characters really feel like I'll be with them all the way and see them through every up and down of their story? Do they know that I love them?

I wouldn't be surprised if they questioned the conditionality of my love a little bit, because, let's be honest, I haven't been writing every day.

I hear it over and over that the key to becoming a great writer (besides Read, Read, Read--which we love to hear) is to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. As parents do for their children, so writers must do for their writing--develop an unconditional love. I believe (at least for me) that means learning how to write every day. EVERY DAY. Rain or shine, at home or on the fire line during lunch. Writing is not a chore. It's not something to dread or to be afraid of; it's not something that I want to avoid when it get's hard.

Words are part of my soul, my person, my existence. They hold all the beauty of the world even when they fail to convey it. I love words. I love writing. And I want it to be clear: my love is unconditional.

I tell my beautiful lovergirl everyday without fail that I love her. Now it's time to do the same thing for my writing.

Write on!

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts, Bud. I think you've hit the nail on the head!