I turned in The Stolen Sky recently and while I wait to receive edits I’m faced with that dreaded blankness of a new book.
It’s always like this—the fear of the unknown, the lack of motivation to start, the crushing weight of wondering if it’s worth it. Sometimes I ask myself why I write. For me it’s a masochistic practice. The high comes from the pain. I’ve never felt that blind rush of euphoria other writers describe when they’re “in the zone.” I can’t ever remember a time where it was easy and fun. It’s always been work for me. The practice soul crushing at times.
Yet, I start all over again putting one word after another.
I know the joy comes eventually. This has been proved over and over. The book always comes to an end. I just have to trust myself to get there.
Not the temporal kind of joy that comes when someone special brings you flowers, or someone compliments you—the kind you have no ownership in. This joy is deeper and more weighted. It comes after you’ve spent endless months crying as you try to master something and yet fail with every attempt. The kind that comes after you embraced that perfection is unattainable. And then, as if the pieces suddenly fit together, the task is done.
This is what writing is like for me.
It’s no wonder I drag my feet to start the journey again. The pain, the weariness, sleepless nights, anxiety so thick it stops my breath—all that is in my future. Should I step forward, it’s inevitable.
And still, I walk on that road with my head held high. I know I can to this. I know the reward is worth it. All that stands between me and “the end” is the work. Even that is not so hard if I only focus on today. This moment is all I have. And so I take a deep breath, hold it until my lungs burn, and start once more.