It always starts with the smallest things. You don’t fall in love with the entire package at once, the entirety of them upon first glance. It’s the little things that you notice and draw you in, the glimmers and sparkles not the overall shape.
And it’s better that way. If you saw everything right at once, you might not keep bull-rushing forward. To see the flaws upon first glance, to see the rough patches ahead and the irreconcilable differences that you’ll have to find a way through or around would be too much. You’d be scared off from the amount of work that it would take when all you want is the happy-shiny feels and the good moments.
There still are good moments. There are moments that take your breath away, surprises that make you pause and reflect on the beauty before you. There are moments of laughter, and the quiet moments of reflection that can add so much. These would all be lost if you didn’t pursue, but that doesn’t mean that you want to be faced with the work of it right away.
The work should come later, after you’re committed. You build up a string of small moments, of falling just a little a thousand times, and by the time the reality of it, the work of it, rears its ugly head you’ve put too much into it to back out. So you remember SOWISA (Strap it On When It Seems Appropriate), you grit your teeth, and you get through and push through the hard times, because you know it will be worth it.
And it is. At the end, when you have the first draft of your novel in your hands (digitally or literally) it will all be worth it.
Okay, so I may have misled you there a little, but I hope in so doing I made a good point, because everything that I said was true. I was talking with two of my dear friends last night about NaNo this year, and they were saying how they weren’t feeling it as much as usual, that the sparkle-eyed love wasn’t there like in years before.
And it got me thinking about love. Love is not always easy, certainly not when you mean “the relationship” and not “the feelings”. You fall for someone so easy, over little things, and before you know it you’re head over heels, and then the work truly begins.
Everyone who has been in love knows that sometimes it takes hard work, and sometimes you don’t like (or want to be in the same reason) as the person (or novel) that you love. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love them, just that they need to stop being so fucking contrary and chill out (or whatever the reason). And it happens with novels, too.
Sometimes, the story decides to be a three year old and throw a tantrum. It will not move, no matter how much you threaten it, no matter how you bribe it. You still love it (it’s your own flesh and blood (metaphorically speaking), how could you not?), but right now you wish that it would just disappear for a few weeks so that you could calm down for a bit.
But it won’t. It will kick and scream until it wears itself out, and you have to be patient and wait for it to come around, because if you try to force it to get in the car to see the movie, it will just fight the whole way and ruin your day anyhow. So you have to be patient and remind yourself that yes, this will be worth it, and yes, you still love your story.
You’d just love it more if it wouldn’t be so damned difficult (but in the end, isn’t that also part of the fun?).