Two Little Words
This will seem a little cerebral but I want you to try and follow along if you have the time and patience. There is an action performed when telling a story that, in itself, is a story.
Writers tend to get hung up on “The End” as some kind of marker for their sense of worth. I am certainly guilty of this. I sweat about word counts, total number of adverbs, repetition of words, the proper use of creative descriptors, made up words, repetition of words, and comma usage. But I probably have more difficulty in my writing on those two little words, “The End,” than anything else. Because those words mean I accomplished something. Right? I mean, this is what I tell myself.
But the truth is that engaging in storytelling at times, the very process in other words, is as much telling a story as the story itself is. I am finding more and more joy in the process than those two words. I’m in the middle of a work in progress. Normally I find myself, at the 30K word mark or so, churning through the story at breakneck speed. I sort of get in the zone and then all other words, thoughts, actions become subservient to the task at hand. And don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely loved that feeling.
But this work in progress? This one I began on March first. I am just now at the 30K word mark, about half my usual pace. The story feels good. It feels strong. I’m sure I will finish it. But I am not in a hurry now. Because telling this story, the way I tell it and the joy of telling it, means more to me than it has previously. I hope this means I’m maturing as a writer. That slowing down doesn’t feel like a bad thing. I am not scared of losing this story.