Going the Distance . . .

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I am having the hardest time with I Am Yours. I know that’s not what you want to hear right now but it’s true and it is not because I don’t love the people or the journey these two people (Amara and Noah) have embarked upon. It’s because it’s taking so darn long to tell their story. They are complicated and in a complicated predicament and I’ve grown a little impatient with them.

I didn’t realize it until someone pointed out to me that I am the kind of writer that gets an idea inspired by something and then I sit down and run with it. I can come up with something from a prompt which is highly creative of me but that does not a novel make. A novel takes the discipline to stay with the story even when that inspiration has fizzled and died. This is not a sprint, I remind myself.

Lately I’ve been working through these tough times and it occurred to me while I trudged through, that writing a novel is a lot like a relationship. In the beginning it’s passionate and you can’t get enough of each other. You sneak hot kisses and gropes to body parts when no one is looking just to get through a long day. When you walk in the door from that long day, you’re too impatient to set the mood with candles and plush down bedding, no, you yank off your clothes and get it on right there, against the wall, on the rough carpeted floor or on the couch. And in the middle of the night when you both shift and brush against each other, it’s seen as an invitation to start all over again; slipping it in from the side so you don’t have the unpleasantries of sleep filled eyes and dank, stinky breath. When the sun’s rays filter through the blinds, you are rocking into each other over and over to start the day right. A sprint.

After a while though, you settle in, getting used to each other and not that you feel any differently, you just don’t go out of your way like you used to. Those stolen moments filled with passion that kept you going in the mundane tasks of life are almost lost. However, it would be a mistake to get lulled by the fact that you are with “the one”; that the passion will be there when you are good and ready because he or she requires the same effort today as they did yesterday and even when you feel like things have settled, we are in a constant state of flux as individuals; the only way to survive it on the other side together is to give it all you’ve got now. Always. Never give up. I’ve got to give my story all I’ve got always and forever so we both can make it to the other side.

Funny thing is, as I was closing this post up to share with you, I thought about the difference in the sprinter and the long distance runner. That long distance runner gives all they have until completion but the pacing is just so. It’s just right so that the energy is there until the end. So it’s all in the pacing, huh?

Maybe rather than be worked up about it not coming as quickly and as intensely as before I should be happy to have the reserves (which means it’s still there) to keep going and use them until I can see the finish line and sprint my way there. Until completion.

Your thoughts?

-Aja

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22 thoughts on “Going the Distance . . .

  1. Brilliantly stated, Aja! I nearly cried when I read this “Never give up”. I’ve been working on my first novel for a year and a half and I kept wondering why it seemed as if it were going nowhere. I became despondent, listless, agonizing as to why “it” hadn’t happened. I spent months on the merry go round of this is crap, it’s not worthy of seeing the light of day, why am I doing this… But the funny thing was that I simply couldn’t stop writing. Either I’m a glutton for punishment or this is truly what I was born to do. I’m going with the latter.

    Thank you, Aja for the reminder that no matter how far I’ve come or yet to go, or even how hard each step is, never give up.

    • Yes, keep going, my dear. If you enjoy the craft, time is not wasted writing. Hopefully you will start to see the finish line, encouraging you to get in full sprint to finish.

    • I will. Have to at this point. I’m invested and love the story too much to give up on it. I know it will be great when it’s all said and done so instead of trudging, I’m going to enjoy the reserves while I write. Sprinting was always a bad idea. 🙂

  2. Just step back a little. Focus your attention on another scene, a different problem, another book. I guarantee you, those characters will come running like a jealous lover. Beguiling you with their tales, enticing you to give them your attention and your story will flow again. From afar is where I always see the entire thing, especially after I turn my back.

  3. I can so relate to your creative flow coming in as a sprint Aja. That’s definitely how ideas come to me and I run with them like someone’s chasing me until I’m suddenly faced with the inevitable problem in story telling (and in life?) of making it work. Ey’s advice was perfect. All her suggestions have worked for me. Also reading the entire story ,whatever you have, from the beginning has been helpful in reminding me of my own voice when I feel lost. Most important, stay hopeful and always remember a calling doesn’t just go away.

    • You are right; it doesn’t go away, Lily. It’s so insistent that you know you’re on the right path. Making it work is the challenge. And I suppose rather than rushing that process, I need to get to a place where I’m alright with figuring it out. Thank you!

  4. I’ve been feeling so bummed lately. Tough times, indeed. Timing is everything…saw the link to your post of FB and it’s exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you, Aja. Back to work I go!

    • Back to work!! You are very welcome and sometimes sharing the struggle and finding that’s it’s not only yours but a normal part of the process is freeing. I felt less bummed about my situation after this post. 🙂

  5. Love the analogy Aja. It’s so true, all that hot, lusty, unbridled passion in the beginning, and then bang! Real life sets in, alters your schedule, your stamina and your ability sometimes to even concentrate long enough without getting frustrated or weary from the effort. I’m so glad that you’re not a sprinter – that you’re in for the distance and will continue to pace yourself so that we can greet you at the finish line 🙂

    • Yep but every little once in a while I need to bend over and catch my breath and rub my shins before I can continue on. 🙂 Thanks, Reina.

  6. I know I’m a little late, but take your time. We your fans will wait for the finished product. I believe that this novel will be great and will deliver all that you want it to deliver to your readers. Hard work is a good thing and does pay off. Know that you will get to the end and be proud of yourself. I look forward to reading the finished novel……

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