Man, oh man, I forgot how much I love this writing lark. And not just any writing, but shiny new writing.
More specifically still, the initial draft of a short story. The buzz of spewing words onto a page and not having to worry if they’re the right words, the perfect words, because it’s a first draft. The excitement of figuring out the story, the characters, where they fit in the world, knowing you can neaten it all up later.
I’ve been taking some space from my novel recently. I don’t want to tamper whilst agents are reading it, theorising that it’s more beneficial to concentrate on other projects whilst I wait to hear back (like short stories and plotting novel number two.) This has the dual delight of not only giving me distance from the book, the most crucial tool for editing, but also giving me time to take my mind off the fact that real life agents are reading my book.
Yes, I know, I’ll never ever be able to take my mind off it, both the thrill and the utter terror.
But the added benefit, the one I really didn’t see coming, is that I’ve remembered how much I bloody love writing. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything completely new; even just planning the characters for my next novel has been more invigorating than I expected.
My short story, however, has been the biggest delight. A miniature universe written for these characters, a slice of their lives in a few thousand words. Writing without the pressure of its being read.
But perhaps most importantly, its refreshed my confidence. The void between an agent asking to read your work and the moment you hear back feels timeless, agonizing, a stretch when I have questioned myself and my ability as a writer almost constantly.
Not all the agents will like my work, and that’s fine. It is actually, honestly, fine. Literature is hugely subjective, whichever genre you write in. Even if they all come back and say no, that will be ok too (even though I will probably cry ugly tears.)
What matters is that I’m still writing and I’ve remembered why I started in the first place:
The love of the words and the worlds they create.