I repeat: writing a book is hard.

I know I just recently blogged about this, but I just wanted to emphasize it again.  Not to toot my own horn (ummm, I don’t even have a book deal yet!), but to wave some sort of banner over those who are DOING IT.

Writing a book means this: days that turn into months that turn into years of writing and revising, hours upon hours invested into researching minute details, the sacrifice (and also joy) of building a platform from the ground up, giving up evenings with friends to stay home and research literary agents, headaches, crafting the perfect query or proposal, taking a permanent seat on an emotional rollercoaster.

Kristin Cashore is a YA author I admire.  She wrote GracelingFire, and Bitterblue.  Click here to read about the journey it was to get Bitterblue to where it needed to be (hint: after three years on a first draft, her editor suggested she start over from scratch).  There are even pictures.  Read this, and you’ll better understand the agony of writing.



Writing is HARD … but worth it. (I think.)

nobody saidNo, no, I don’t think it– I know it.  I’m just coming off of a long weekend chock full of revisions.  The hardest revisions of my life.

I mean, I’ll be honest, I got down on my face before God about these revisions.

Here’s the thing.  One of my #1 goals in writing is to make people think.  I’m not setting out to write a little beach read about which boy is the cutest one on the island.  (No offense to anyone writing a book with that premise.)  I want to write about ideas and history, about philosophy and religion and paradigms for understanding the world.  For teens.

The thing with that kind of book is that it’s hard to write.  Your brain churns like a waterwheel, and you have to process these ideas that you’re setting forth.  My goodness, I’m writing for young adults, so I feel this responsibility to present them with valid questions (and sometimes answers, although the questions are often more interesting).  When I write a pivotal scene and send it off to beta-readers, the response isn’t just, “I like it” or “Use more imagery” or “Better word choices please.”  Sometimes the feedback launches me into a re-evaluation of my worldview and the framework through which I see the world.

Makes revisions go a lot slower.

The thing is, I love productivity, so I want to revise quickly and efficiently, but sometimes that’s just not possible.

I am so grateful for amazing friends who are also fascinated by ideas and willing to process them with me.  Right now I’m thinking especially of Kristin Luehr and Cindy Hunt.  Thanks, ladies, for loving the questions and, each in your own way, embracing the incredible gray areas while believing that black and white also exist.

I and my book are indebted to you.