It's time like these, when my writing slacks, when I don't write as much as I used to, when I just get tired, that I try and force myself to imagine.
It's something we writers all do, don't we? It's a definition of our job.
But let's imagine outside the pages. Let's imagine in real life.
Let's imagine our books, our words, printed out on slightly rough paper. Stacked paper, one on top of the other, and then bound with a beautiful cover. Clean. Crisp. The book crinkles when you bend it. The pages smell when you sniff them and fan through them.
People look at your book on bookshelves as you watch from a corner. People pick it up, they actually pick it up! They read the back, they open it, they feel your words and your messages and characters and world.
And you have the book in your bedroom, on the side, something to look at and smile every time you see it.
It's that image, that imagination, that keeps me going, that will make me write more and edit and go through this hell which we call writing. That shining light at the end of the tunnel. And I want to meet that light, to greet it, to see and experience that happiness.
But it'll be so, so much happier if we have so, so much more struggles to go through. But I want to see that future, and it's scary to think that I don't know if it'll ever happen. I've got to keep trying, and if one book doesn't work, I have to go to the next one because time waits for no man, and I've got to write. I want to dream, but more importantly, I want my dreams to come true.
If it ever gets too hard to write, if it ever seems impossible, just imagine your book in your hands. And it's okay if that image doesn't entice you like, maybe, it used to. People change. Not being a writer is no crime at all.
But if your stomach twists at the image, if your chest soars, then keep going; but also, enjoy the journey, love the writing, and have a passion for doing what you're doing, not only the end goal.
Writing is one of those things where the journey, truly, might be more memorable than the destination. But that destination - that's what drives me when I'm down, it's what gives me the kick to keep going.
And hopefully, it is the same for you.
What keeps you going? Tell me what you feel when you imagine your book in your hands or on a bookshelf.