Go ahead and gasp if needed.
But seriously, on those days when my characters rebel and my plot turns squishy and I get that Titanic-y feeling, I think, “Hmm, wouldn’t it have been easier to become, say, an accountant?”
Then I remember the way my calculator mocks me when I punch in an equation most people would figure in their heads. Not kidding, I think the thing has eyes. And they roll. A lot.
But writing a book is hard, yes. It takes discipline, perseverance and mental muscle. And when things get difficult, it’s easy to throw up my hands the way I imagine Job doing in the Bible and moan, “Whhhhyyyy?”
Have I mentioned the writer in me can be a bit of a drama queen?
The best cure I can think of for the Writing Woes is Thanksgiving. Make that Thanksgiving with both an upper- and lowercase “T/t.”
Uppercase “T” because things like mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and family make almost everything better.
And lowercase “t” because a constant state of thanks giving does wonders for the writing-wracked brain. As writers, we have much for which to be grateful, including:
- In the slightly-less-than-biblical category: easy revenge. Dentist take too much joy in drilling your teeth? Woman with an overflowing grocery cart cut you off in the race to the free checkout? Write ‘em in to the story. It’s a healthy – if also bordering-on-immature – form of venting.
- Excuse to daydream. That thing you used to get in trouble for in school? Staring off into space with a glazed look in your eyes? Now totally acceptable … and even productive.
- The calling to imitate Christ. Wait, did I just turn serious? You betcha.
When I look at the life of Christ, I see a man who not only lived out the greatest life story ever, but also used stories to reach into the hearts of his followers. As creative types, as storytellers, we have the opportunity to do the same.
It’s a weighty calling, but also a privilege for which I’m incredibly grateful. It fills my writing pursuits with meaning and turns momentary frustrations into strength-building blips on a big-screen adventure. Stories can change lives.
And we get to tell them.
Remember that, and the thanks giving can’t help but continue long past November.
In addition to her homeless ministry work, Melissa Tagg writes humor-laced contemporary romance. A former reporter and winner of the 2010 Frasier Award, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy. Visit Melissa at www.melissatagg.com.