As she does about once a week, my writing buddy, Sue, came over yesterday to work on her book while I worked on mine. Despite the calming ‘yoga station’ tunes on Pandora and the lit candle on the table, not 10 minutes had gone by when we found ourselves shaking our heads at a mutual frustration. The more progress we made, the more it became obvious how much further we had to go.
Sue and I are working on very different projects. Her novel is young-adult historical fiction with a mythical twist about the Abbey of Montecassino in Italy, my book is nonfiction about a woman who climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa after her husband’s accidental death. But our process is the same. Write, rewrite, edit, spot the holes, add material, rewrite, edit, spot the holes…
“It’s already August!” we lamented, clearly picturing the start of 2014, when we want to be finished and querying agents, as an acute and looming threat.
We came to the conclusion – pretty easily, I have to say, given there’s no alternative – that the only thing we can do is accept (not necessarily embrace) this is how it goes, that without progress we have nothing, and without all those seemingly never-ending steps along the way, we don’t have progress.
We shrugged our shoulders and got back to work. What an appropriate word for it.
What’s your take on the writing process?