I trawl through my twitter feed, religiously liking posts I want to revisit and emailing myself links I want to read later. Before I call it a night, I pull up certain people I follow to see if they have words of wisdom as it pertains to writing. I log off with a smug satisfaction in my head. The research has been paying off. In small ways. In ways that do not make sense at the moment but will in the long run.
I stumble onto people who offer free advice. I discover new writers. I score new book release swag. I diligently collate and make lists of people I should watch as they grow into authors. Into best-selling novelists. I read interviews to see how they made it. I mean the leap from toying with an idea to actually gracing the shelves in a book store. Most of these stories have one thing in common. They have been at it even a their lowest lows. They have kept on keeping on.
As part of something I signed up for, I get to read books before they become books. I get to see how each person took an idea in their head and spun it into a 250-300 page tome. It is fascinating. I see the mistakes I have made when I read something that shines. I also realize what a labor of love each file is. I imagine the writer poring over each sentence, turning it over in their heads, reading it aloud and tinkering with it till it feels right.
I make notes. I try and capture what makes it work for me. It is learning of the best kind. Learning by doing. Learning something I love by putting in the hard hours. Hours long past everyone is in bed and in deep sleep. Each night, I crawl into bed exhausted and happy.
I know the road is long. I also know that this book might not be the one. I see each effort as a piece of a puzzle. Something that has be lined up, accounted for before you can accomplish the big picture. There are hours of painstaking labor behind that completed puzzle. If anyone were to ask what is it that you do, I have no answers. I am doing bits and pieces behind the scenes. Things I believe will eventually help me. I have nothing to reassure me. Just a blind confidence that this is the way to go.
I called a friend on impulse this evening. When she echoed what I felt. It felt like validation of the very best kind. Even if success doesn’t look like what I envision now, I know I will know it when I am there. Then I will look back and know I have worked my way into assembling what is now the biggest puzzle in my life.