How a chronic beginner finishes writing a novel

I have a confession. I’m a chronic beginner. I have loads of interests, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to indulge a lot of them. However, I have to admit something. I never stick with something long enough to get really good at it. If I look over the past few years, I see myself enjoying lots of really cool hobbies. Horseback riding. Tennis. Sailing. I love all of them. So how come I can’t stick with any of them long enough to become good at them?

I found the answer in a friend of mine who owns horses. She loves horses. She lives horses. She rides really, really well, competes when she can, and is so comfortable around the enormous beasts they’re like another limb to her. She was meant to be a horsewoman.

Part of me envies her. I love horses. When I have time to ride, I really, really enjoy it. I even competed once. It was fun and terrifying all at the same time. I think I got a pink ribbon. Not sure what place that is. Seventh?

So how come I can’t be a horsewoman?

But I know the answer. It’s the same reason I don’t haunt the tennis courts or go sailing every weekend or even kayak, bike or garden as often as I probably could. I’m a writer. When I’m at my keyboard with the words flowing, I’m happier than I could ever be riding a horse. The chronic beginner in me becomes a finisher in the quest to achieve that transportation that comes when I’m writing well. It’s not even that hard to write 40,000 to 50,000 words if I let all my other hobbies go. If I let everything in my life go, I could probably write Michener-size novels.

Of course, that’s not going to happen.

I mention this because I just wrote the last line in the romance I’ve been working on for a while now. Since before summer started, actually. It’s a good feeling writing that last line, even when I know the story still needs a lot of work like this one. I’m still working on it, but I know how the story ends. I finished it.

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2 responses to “How a chronic beginner finishes writing a novel

  1. Sticking with an activity until you perfect your skills takes a lot of patience, a virtue I don’t have! Congratulations on writing the last line of your novel. Good luck with the editing process. It often takes a lot of patience to get through that stage!