But for one shining moment, one GLORIOUS MOMENT, when I finished writing my book, OH BOY, YOU’RE HAVING A GIRL: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters, I felt like a complete and utter badass. Here’s why.
1. Writing a book is hard.If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I have an idea, I’m going to write a book about it” and then watch as they never did it, I’d have—well, I’m not sure exactly how many nickels I’d have because I’m terrible at math, but it’s safe to say I’d have a ton of them. Many people
don’t write a book because it’s extremely hard. Forcing yourself to sit down,
brainstorm, write, edit, rewrite, edit, cut, add, rewrite, workshop, rewrite
and rewrite some more until you’ve got somewhere between 50,000 and
100,000 words is grueling work. Most can’t do it. When you’re one of the
few who can, it really makes you feel good about yourself—an important
quality in a true badass.
2. Editing is painful.All the effort and time put into writing a scene can all go for naught if it doesn’t mesh just right with your story. It doesn’t matter if it’s your favorite scene: If it’s not right for your book then it’s not right for your book—and has to be cut. Deleting your writing, especially words you’ve sacrificed so much to create, can be incredibly painful. But you do it in spite of the pain because, deep down, you’re tough as nails and you know your book will be better off for it.
3. Knowing when you are “finished” is impossible.Is your Chapter 1 strong enough? Are you doing enough showing and not telling? Should your main character be walking or sauntering in this one particular scene? You’re on draft #17 and, after reading it again, you think an 18th draft may be necessary. (There’s one sentence in OH BOY that I rewrote every time I reread it!) Finished may be a definitive term when it comes to the end of a baseball game or a Broadway show, but it’s relative when it comes to writing. After all, in writing there’s no clear sign that your manuscript is perfect. At some point, every writer needs to take a leap of
faith and have confidence in his or her work. It’s not easy to do, which is
why it’s a form a badass-ery.