The Writer’s Journey, Step 1

A friend of mine asked me to blog on the writer’s journey. First off, if you aren’t a writer you don’t realize what it means. It’s one of those things you have to experience to understand fully, but I’ll try to explain the first steps.

Picture walking barefoot, up a rocky incline, with a splintery staff, torrential rain, wind gusts buffeting you every step of the way and the mountain keeps rising above you. That’s right, you feel like you’ll never reach the top. You hurt and you’re discouraged by the slippery path.

Okay. Now. Writing is much the same. You spend hours pouring your thoughts onto the page, wondering if you’ve painted a clear picture and who in the world will care to read it. You realize writing is harder than you every imagined and making what is in your mind make sense on the page is beyond challenging. Does the world I’ve created make any sense? Does anybody care?

This is a glimpse into 75 percent of the writer’s journey. HOWEVER…

You will learn along the way, how to avoid the sharp rocks on the path. Your feet with get tougher, your legs stronger, and you’ll wear the splinters off the staff that is helping you to stay upright. You’ll find others along the way, others just like you who have dreams and visions of a story they want to share.

You’ll help each other. While each of us is on our own individual path, we cross the paths of others. When we do we will commiserate, support, vent, and celebrate each other’s achievements.

When you’re totally focused on the story, you enter another world. A world you’ve created. You meet characters in that world that want to help you tell this story you’ve envisioned. The excitement will bolster you for the times when the words just won’t come. You’ll use every ounce of energy you possess to make your story come to life and when it does, you’ll feel accomplished.

You’ve birthed a bouncing baby story. You’ve labored and breathed through the pain, now it’s time to tidy it up for others to see. For the layman that means “edit.” Edit is a four-letter word. Edit is what reveals the jewels from the garbage, and we all write garbage from time to time. Edit will polish and comb the baby’s hair, put on it’s best duds and make people want to know the story.

So, to recap. Writing is a journey of discovery and pain, enlightenment and joy. Writing well is hard and will take dedication and total commitment to doing the best you can. I’ll talk more about what happens when you’ve finally written that story later, so stay tuned.