by Elizabeth Partridge
In writing a book, there are two major points where I feel like I am standing at the top of a high dive, and I just don’t want to jump off. The first is when it’s time to begin. That doesn’t include any research I need to do. I love being immersed in research. It doesn’t include any dreaming about my characters, places, possible plot twists. It’s the actual pen-to-paper that is hard. Those little squiggly words are such a tough way to catch those dreams and shape them into something that I can excite someone else with.
With slogging, I can get words down. And there are occasional flights, where my feet leave the ground and I lift off. I look up from my desk and I’ve been writing for hours. The words are never good enough, but they’ll do for the moment. Ponder, shape, rewrite. I get closer. And a little closer. But at a certain point I realize I will never make the book be the dream. I’ve hit my second hard point: time to turn in the manuscript, and I don’t want to.
But I do. And when the real book arrives in the mail months later, it is imperfect, and perfectly beautiful.