A Commitment

Is it a surprise to anyone that writing takes time? The quality changes with experience, but few wordsmiths can push out exactly what they want on the first go. Even if they could, it takes time, from the 5-10K of a short story through to ranges between 50-250K for either novellas, novels or tomes. There’s no escaping that.

There’s a choke point of time on the other end, too. It takes time (albeit less) to consume written material. You can probably flick through the entirety of this page in about two minutes, while I guarantee that it’s been at least that to get to this point alone. A musician might practice as much as you do, but at the end, they can take to an instrument (including their own voice), and produce something that can be heard to completion in minutes. An artist could take longer, but the consumption of the visual is quicker – we can instantly assess whether it is something we like or dislike, even while still deciphering the details. With words, nobody’s going through that quickly.

With the huge investment of time required, it makes sense that you want to find the right story.

Uh oh, I think my allegory is showing.

However you come to the proposed story idea, you know that it could take a while before you see your efforts pay off. You’ll start with the most simplest part, the pristine white page that hasn’t yet been filled, and go from there. What characters will play a part, and which will merely watch. Where will it take place? And all that time in preparation before you begin, and that’s not even where the real work begins. OF COURSE you want the right story!

There’s no such thing.

There is no story to be told that doesn’t require work. If that’s your reason for not committing to a story so far, then forget it. It’s not the way it goes. There’s no story that just magically drops into your lap, and effortlessly makes itself a part of your life in a way you’re completely happy with. Even when it’s good the majority of the time, there will be days when you can’t get into it. Writing shouldn’t be difficult all of the time, though that’s not the same as not requiring work. Work can be good. It can invigorate. It can be rewarding. It can give a sense of accomplishment that the easy words don’t, and the better stuff is often hiding behind an arbitrary idea of work.

If you want the pay-off, you need to commit to your writing. You need to spend time with it, to think about it, and to care about it. You don’t always know how it will turn out, but in time, the story does start to pull its own weight. You still need to do the writing, but it can present elements you didn’t plan, but that turn the relationship between you and the words into something stronger, that objectively looks effortless.

You’ll know better.

2 thoughts on “A Commitment

    1. It’s very much like a relationship or marriage in that way (in case the comparison being made wasn’t obvious). Glad you liked it 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s