Some time four years ago, Oliver told me we were going to write a story. He had an ending in mind, a beautiful ending. He had the idea of a couple of fascinating characters in a place like nothing I’d ever experienced.
At first, I felt like it was a fun little diversion. It kept me from getting crabby about not creating, and it kept us talking constantly about the story and what was coming next. It gave me something to hope for.
Then that feeling went away. It wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t little. It was work. It was a beautiful, charming piece of forcibly applied effort. It called to every skill I would hope to have as a writer. It challenged my patience, and it also completely destroyed my image of myself as a disciplined writer. It made me examine my desire to write and to make some hard choices about who I wanted to be.
I learned the most about priorities. It turns out I’m not the saint I imagined; I’d much rather watch Netflix and eat popcorn than work. I’d much rather make excuses than put everything I have into the dreams I’ve always sold myself. It turns out I’m human, and no better than anyone else.
I also learned to do it anyway. Talent and inspiration have gotten me nowhere in this world. Bullheaded asshole persistence, however, has gotten me to the end of my second book. It’s done. The Twisted World Part 1: The Dusk Harbinger finished just this week.
While we wrote:
Oliver was injured and hospitalized.
We had a cancer scare that lasted a year.
We wrote and successfully published Rabbit in the Road
We moved back.
I got a new job.
We got married.
Oliver had a scary surgery.
Plus a host of other shit, every day details lost to time. Writing “The End” made me reflect on that time and how much of it I wasted. The incredible satisfaction of hitting that last page blows everything else out of the water. What a shame to postpone that feeling over such trivial shit.
So here’s to the finishers, to the bullheaded assholes who resist the urge to fuck off and waste time, to those who want the dream more than anything else. That’s who I want to be.