Gratificaiton of writing

Once again life is getting in the way and a few things have been thrown at me in the lsat week that have taken precedence over writing. I’m beginning to realise that the reasons for my willingness to be distracted by such things is about gratification. When a friend is having some troubles, or work tasks need doing, the feeling that comes with tackling them straight away is immediate and rewarding. There is a sense of accomplishment that follows the action and the repercussions of such are usually quickly apparent.

This does not occur so readily with the writing of a book. The ten thousand words I have contributed so far have not been read by anoyone else (nor myself even) since I wrote them and there are still many thousands of words to follow. Even then the process itself has really only just begun, and it may be many years before the ultimate gratification of seeing my name in print and this story being told to the general public will ever occur. So the reward is delayed, and therefore sometimes appears out of reach: a mirage in the desert.

That doesn’t mean that writing is any less important in my life however. I enjoy it. Simply the sight of my notebook with the ribbon marking my place is satisfying – knowing that one part of my novel is almost complete in first draft format is gratifying in itself. Yet, it is the outward congratulations that is missing in this case. Currently I have only myself to praise my efforts made and few people can judge the calibre of my written work while it remains unfinished.

With other tasks I am provided a metaphorical pat on the back, a remark to signify ‘good job’ or an appreciative gesture to mark my contribution. ‘Out there’ I know I’m making progress by the occasional nod of approval and visible marks of proven work done.  In my writing world the only thing that appears to moving forward is the plot – and this process in itself is slow right now. Every day the only thing that needs to be done is the writing; the adding of more words; the carrying of the characters onward that is becoming my burden. It doesn’t actively feel like progress in the conventional sense because my own action is not changing. I write. Then I write again. Until then, I write some more.

I am not complaining about the writing, because I do really enjoy it. The aspect I am struggling with is the motivational needs required to continue this process day after day without….I was going to say reaching a milestone: but I realise now I did that recently, which is probably why I am now struggling so: a milestone in number was reached and yet, in my reality, nothing has actively changed. How can I perceive myself to be moving forward when I’m actually standing still?

 

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