Back when I was dancing/teaching, one of the things I used to tell my students is that when things are easy, we aren’t growing. It’s when we start to feel the burn in our muscles and we don’t think we can hold on any longer, is the only time when we’re growing stronger—improving our extension, gaining strength, refining technique.
I’ve found the same principle with writing.
I don’t think people really realize how difficult writing is. Not only the actual process, but the emotional process too. I once had someone tell me, “Oh, if you can write then I can too!” I laughed… I don’t think they meant it as a backhanded compliment, but it did make me realize that from the outside looking in, it probably does seem pretty easy.
But it isn’t.
Just off the top of my head, this is a list of elements we need to master:
Conflict on every page.
Showing, not telling.
No info dumping.
Weaving in layers.
Evoking an emotional response.
And I KNOW the list goes on…
So I just wanted to say I’m proud of all of you. I’m proud that you choose to put yourself out there because it’s a scary thing to do. It’s scary not only to stretch ourselves and see if we’re capable of writing, but to then send our work out to betas and agents and editors… which will probably be ripped to shreds.
The more I learn, the more I respect great novelists. They make it look easy. Just like in ballet, a great dancer makes it look effortless. But we know the truth. It takes hours of work and dedication. We don't often see the progress as we try to hold our leg up to our ear for that extra ten seconds or try to rework that chapter one last time, but slowly, often without our knowledge, we are growing and getting stronger in ways we can't even imagine.
So worth it? Definitely worth it. :)
Red. Head. Out.