An on-line forum that I participate in has a section about writing. One of the conversations within that section is called "the joy topic". I posted something there that I had wanted to say for quite some time but didn't know how, so I'm going to repost it here.
I'm now some 9,300 words into my first novel ever and yes, there has been joy in the experience.
Reaching 9,300 words to begin with. I know it's just the beginning but still I'm feeling a great sense of achievement here.
The joy of discovery. The way that things start happening when I put my pen to paper or sit down at my laptop and rest my fingers on the keyboard. The joy of complete plot points and insights about characters that just drop into my head out of the blue (all of which end up in my notebook, and some, all or none of which will end up in the novel).
The joy of learning. Knowing that there's still a great deal more of the "buried fossile" that I can uncover. (Thank you, Stephen King; rediscovering "On Writing" was another joy.) The joy of knowing the general direction where to look and knowing that, if I keep working on it, I will get better.
The joy of discovering what works for me in terms of process. I'm away from home 60 hours a week so I need to grab my writing time where and when I can get it. I'm doing quite a lot of writing on trains. Also, writing seems to be getting easier. I had set my goal at 500 words a day, and in the beginning I had to work hard at reaching that goal. On my last four "writing days" (yes, I still don't write every day and I need a break every now and again) I passed the 600 word mark without even trying, and on the last two I wrote more than 700 words. I'm beginning to believe that, apart from inspiration and all that, we've all got "writing muscles" that can be trained like any other set of muscles. I may be wrong, of course.
And, of course, the joy of language. To me, the story arises as much from the sounds that I hear in my head and the meanings attached to each word as it does from the characters and the events that I see in my mind's eye. Writing in a language that I wasn't taught at my mother's knee is a journey of discovery in itself.
This article was written after finishing installment 16 of my storytelling experiment.
After the War (16)
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