In her most excellent book, Still Writing, Dani Shapiro talks about “writing in the dark”:
“There is only one opportunity to write in complete darkness: when you’re at the beginning. Use it. Use it well. The loneliest day in the life of a published writer may be publication day. Nothing happens. Perhaps your editor sends flowers. Maybe not. Maybe your family takes you out for dinner. But the world won’t stop to take notice. The universe is indifferent. You have put the shape of your soul between the covers of a book and no one declares a national holiday. Someone named Booklover gives you a one-star review on Amazon.com.
So what is it about writing that makes it — for some of us — as necessary as breathing? It is in the thousands of days of trying, failing, sitting, thinking, resisting, dreaming, raveling, unraveling that we are at our most engaged, alert, and alive. Time slips away. The body becomes irrelevant. We are as close to consciousness itself as we will ever be. This begins in the darkness. Beneath the frozen ground, buried deep below anything we can see, something may be taking root. Stay there, if you can. Don’t resist. Don’t force it, but don’t run away. Endure. Be patient. The rewards cannot be measured. Not now. But whatever happens, any writer will tell you: This is the best part.”
I agree with Dani Shapiro.
But here we are.
Publication Day. A kind of death.
One other thought that I had recently:
Writers don’t finish books, readers do.
Thank you for your interest, your time, your support.
Exit 13: The Spaces In Between, now available in bookstores, etc. This is the second book in the “Exit 13” series by Scholastic.