\”When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.\”– Isak Dinesen
I love Isak Dinesen. In her short story, \”The Young Man with the Carnation,\” here is a conversation between the Lord and the writer:
\”Come,\” said the Lord again, \”I will make a convenant between me and you. I, I will not measure you out any more distress than you need to write your books.\”…\”But you are to write the books,\” said the Lord. \”For it is I who want them written. Not the public, not by any means the critics, but ME!\”
\”Can I be certain of that?\” Charlie asked.
\”Not always,\” said the Lord. \”You will have to hold on to that.\”
And that is why writers write. An internal compulsion, rather than a financial scheme. I don\’t know if anyone starts writing to be rich. I mean, it\’s a nice dream, but it doesn\’t work that way. Even the overnight successes, when you dig a bit deeper in the story, like Stephen King, Terry Brooks, John What\’s His Face the Lawyer, all of them had day jobs for a long time. (Grisham, that\’s the guy. I knew the name would come.)
Anyway, I think I\’m learning more about everything writing this book, even if it never gets published. (Although there is a part of me that screams, \’all this work? what do you mean it may never be published???) But the act of writing it, editing it, revising it, that\’s where the learning comes. And the next book will be stronger, better, more publishable. Not necessarily published. But life supplies material and the material needs some processing. Fiction is for me the best way to process things. Which is why writing the first draft of Purse Driven Life was so theraputic, dealing with the Mom thing. And Solomon\’s Mind is helping with the pastor thing, indirectly. But it\’s all a gift, like fresh picked cotton waiting to be spun and woven. Or whatever it is you do to cotton. I just buy it done.
Books are just buying it done. Writing is the doing.