The writing life is a tortuous one. Let me explain. It’s the ultimate rush pouring myself onto the page day after day, getting to a point where it almost feels like an out of body experience. I come out of that fog and feel like I just finished a workout, many times having sweat… a lot. That’s not tortuous though. It’s the days when I can’t or don’t write that eat away at me. I get grumpy if long spans of time go by and I produce little. I then question why I got into the craft anyway. Then I write again and all is good.
Getting it done isn’t always a high though. I finish something or submit something and within minutes, I go back to that work and critique the hell out of it, many times feeling it belongs in the bottom of the desk drawer and not out in public. With a tenacity, I go back at it. I write again. I edit again. I submit again. What the hell is wrong with me?
I’ve learned that it’s this tenacity that brings success. Does talent matter? Sure. But it’s the willingness to stand up after getting knocked out that separates successful writers from those who always wish they’d get something published. Am I successful? Maybe. But I’ll never stop writing long enough to really measure my success.
I keep getting up. Sometimes spurred by my own drive and other times I get inspiration like surprise drawings I find in my notebooks.
Other times, the inspiration comes from reading something else. And other times it comes from getting a good kick in the ass.
All of the above drove my decision to Norman’s challenge – “Let’s turn my book The Gamblers into show.”
I sat up in my bed, Brittany beside me.
“What are you going to do?” she asked.
“I don’t know. Norman’s pretty excited about this book.”
“Start by reading it.”
“I’m going to,” I said.
“So what’s going on?”
“I don’t know. In some ways, I feel like she won’t hear us out.”
“Yeah, what if it’s a bad idea?”
“Bad ideas get made into books and shows and movies all the time. Werewolves fall in love. A mermaid turns into a human being. They all seem crazy but someone put pen to paper and created a decent story. You know how?”
I picked up the book and flipped open the cover. “I have to read this,” I said. “Norman persisted. He wrote this book and he’s ancient. He doesn’t stop.” I flipped the page and saw a note and smiled…
At five in the morning, I finished the book and got out of bed, waking Brittany. “What are you doing?” she asked.
“Writing the outline for the first episode,” I said. We’re going to make this a show.” I wrote for an hour and then called Norman. “I’m in,” I said to him. Let’s get breakfast. I’m hungry.”