Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some voice whom one can neither resist nor understand. (Orwell)
Am I an author? Not yet. And I never will be, unless I finish the book I am working on right now. But the reason I’m not writing my book at this particular moment is because I don’t know what comes next. I don’t know how Newton is going to reply to Chancellor, or what they’ll do after that. Simple writer’s block, obviously, but in my case the problem runs deeper. Because the real truth is that I am succumbing to the voice that is questioning whether I should be writing this book at all. Because, even though I am five chapters and five months into a 25-chapter book, I don’t know if I will ever be able to finish it. And if I do, will anyone read it? Will anyone like it? Will anyone love it? Are the jokes as funny as I thought they were when I wrote them? Is the story compelling? Or is it convoluted and confusing? What in the world got into me to make me think I could ever be a writer? to write a kids’ book, no less! I must be kidding myself!!
But yet I must press on. I will. I have to. Why? WHY?? I’ll tell you why: Because I’ve always dreamed of being an author. Because it’s too much fun (except when it’s not). Because my daughter is writing it with me (giving me all the best plot twist ideas). Because I’ve fallen in love with the characters and I really hope that someone else will love them as much as I do. Because I’m dying to know how it will end. Because this particular book has never been written — this story has never been told — and it needs to be. It’s just crying out to be written (even if it is just a figment of my imagination). Because God is an author, and I want to be more like him. And, if nothing else, because my great-grandchildren are just going to love reading this silly little story!
So that’s enough reasons to keep going, don’t you think?
Anyways, I decided to start chronicling my journey through this jungle of authorship. Every time I get writer’s block, I’ll post something here on this blog. I’ll journal about the excruciatingly painful difficulty of pulling a story out of thin air. I’ll complain profusely and whine unapologetically and air out all my stress and confusion. And maybe some writers out there will commiserate with me and help me to keep going — to snap out of it and get back to the book. Or at the very least, if this attempt at authorship actually drives me to an early grave, I will have left a documented trail to warn other would-be writers — to ward them off from the hazards and miseries of this Dantean nightmare.
So if you’re a glutton to read the grim and gory details of a hapless, untrained, inexperienced mountain-climber desperately trying to scale the granite cliff of ink-slinging, word-smithing and story-crafting, tune in. This ought to be quite the spectacle.