“You need that pride in yourself, as well as a sense, when you are sitting on Page 297 of a book, that the book is going to be read, that somebody is going to care. You can’t ever be sure about that, but you need the sense that it’s important, that it’s not typing; it’s writing.”
Over a year ago, around the time I began composing my novel, I dreamed of seeing a paperback with the book’s title etched across the front cover lying amidst a plain, white background. I felt so excited in the dream, so accomplished. It seemed real, somehow. Feasible. Not without a ton of work, of course. But I awoke feeling relieved. Maybe it does matter that I do this, is what I thought.
Last semester, in my final pre-thesis graduate course, my professor, in response to reading my proposal said she was highly impressed that I’d written an entire first draft of a novel. “It must take a lot of confidence,” she said, “to know that you can do that,” (I apologize if I’ve misquoted). I had never looked at it that way. Certainly there were some days when ‘confident’ was the last thing I felt in terms of writing the story. But on deeper reflection, I found that the three D’s–desire, discipline, dedication–despite sounding like something off a motivational poster, is in fact, the recipe for confidence in writing, in any endeavor, really.
There aren’t a lot of guarantees in being an intrinsic writer. I have to remind myself everyday that this is something I have to do, whether it amounts to anything or not. Underneath the frustration, the labor, and the self-torture lies a kind of quintessential joy that emanates through my fingers, onto the keyboard, and finally the page. It is important. Know that. Believe it.
And I encourage all of you intrinsic types to keep writing. Because it does matter that you do.