Writing is a Battle…

Haunted Hospital, a photograph by Rhonda ParrishDear ________,

I’ve enclosed a photo I wanted to share with you. I call this shot “Haunted Hospital” and when I took it several weeks ago I had no idea it was going to become a very important place in my novel. But lo and behold, that’s exactly what has happened. Not only is it where the story begins but I expect it to continue to be a very important locale throughout, sort of like the sun that the rest of the tale rotates around. Very cool, no?

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write to you about today. I don’t like writing too much about my stories while I’m working on them. I find if I share too much (via blogs, or conversation or anything) I lose the sense of urgency to write the story. It’s like, as soon as I’ve shared it with someone my brain is pretty sure that my job is done and it’s time to move on to the next story. That means in order to get the whole thing out of my brain and onto the page I need to keep it to myself for as long as possible. That meant talking about any Hollow Children specifics was out of the question, and who wants to read a dry list of daily word counts? Um, not me.

Then I snuck over to Alison Stone‘s cabin today to say hi before I started writing for the moment. She asked everyone who stopped by a question, “What motivates you?”

I have a post-it note stuck onto my laptop where I’ll see it everyday. It’s been stuck there for months and is starting to curl up on the edges and lose it’s glue. When it finally gives up and falls off completely I will copy the words from it onto another post-it note and stuck it on my laptop. In fact, I’m planning on getting them tattooed onto my arm. Eight words:

Writing is a battle with impatience and inertia.

I don’t know who to attribute that quote to. I think I picked it up from a textbook but I haven’t gone back through the one I think it might be to see if I’m correct.

That quote, that idea, that reality motivates me. It says yes, writing is hard work, but you know what? Anything worth doing is difficult. It says yes, Rhonda, you’re feeling bleh and you don’t want to do anything but lay in bed and sleep, but no one is going to write your words for you. It says holy crap, dude, you’re not in a race to reach the end of the story, slow down and let it unravel at its pace, not yours.

Writing is a battle, and it’s one I’m not willing to lose. Some days, some weeks, some months are harder than others but if you just keep fighting eventually you will be victorious.

That’s what motivates me.

Well, this month it’s that plus watching the little bars move up on my stats page for Camp NaNoWriMo… but ya know, whatever it takes to get words on the page, right?


p.s. I hear they are serving us sushi here tomorrow. *squee* Best. Camp. Evar.

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6 thoughts on “Writing is a Battle…”

  1. I really love the picture you posted. The more I look at it, the more I want to imagine a story behind it.

    I love your motivational quote. It’s very true, and something to remember when things don’t seem to be going the way you want them to. Sometimes you just gotta push through, even if you aren’t feeling it. Nothing happens unless you make it happen.

    Good luck and happy writing this month!

  2. I see the first draft as that race to the end you mention, and while it can be a battle with impatience, it can also be a freight train on the right track. It’s just a super-skinny freight train, and the next five or six (hundred?) revisions will pack on some much-needed meat. Cattle in the cattle car, etc. Anyhow, enough with the stupid metaphors. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you 🙂 I love taking pictures, it makes me super happy when other people see the same thing in them that I do 😉

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