I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen someone write “Writing is the easy part.”
It used to offend me. In the middle of writing a novel you feel that you are doing the hardest thing you could possibly do – crafting a story, weaving the plot, developing the characters… all with the goal of bringing an engaging, entertaining story to the reader. It takes months of writing, editing, and rewriting. Along the way some of your favorite parts face the chopping block.
That’s darn hard at times, especially when you have both a family and a paying job demanding large portions of your time. To me, the phrase “Writing is the easy part” belittles that accomplishment.
Last Friday I was finally able to call my first novel done. It was prepared. It was baked. It was poked and prodded. It was iced. CAKE NOVEL, ready for consumption.
I had a brief moment of ‘what now’, and then I felt lost. What do I do now? It’s out there, like a child that’s left the house, and it’s not my baby any more. I’m no longer looking for typos, polishing scenes, or worrying about formatting.
Of course that moment quickly passed because the biggest challenge for a new writer is obscurity. New adventures are just beginning to arise as I work to amend that problem.
Suddenly “Writing is the easy part” takes on new meaning. The writing, in large measure, comes naturally to me. In that respect it is easy. It’s an accomplishment and it takes a lot of time, but it is also enjoyable. I now stand at the crossroads where I must do many things that do not come naturally, especially marketing a story I like. Marketing is almost a dirty word; it is entirely against my nature.
I have seen writers belittle, bemoan, and grouse about this part. You don’t get paid for it. It’s not as much fun. It takes away from the writing.
Readers have earned this part. They bought the book. Hopefully they enjoyed it. If you’re fortunate they even became a fan, eagerly awaiting your next work. The tweets where I say “Thank You for Following”, the interviews, the guest posts, the contests – the fans deserve that part of your time. Doing nothing but writing your next piece is to tell the reader – Love it or leave it, as long as you buy it. I will give you nothing more of myself.
I stand here at that crossroads with hope and the commitment to give the reader a good story and pieces of myself along the way.