You write and you write and you write and you write and you write. Then you delete a bunch of shit and write some more. Then you write and you write and you write. You put your computer away but then you think of something so you sit back down and write and write and write. But you don’t read what you wrote right away because it needs time to marinate. So the next day you read the new stuff and it’s good but it’s bad so you delete some and write some more and make it better. Then you write and you write and you write and you write. You write more because editing sucks and you hate reading your own work. Sometimes you read it and want to cry and delete it all. Sometimes you read it and want to cry because you move yourself to tears. And you write and you write and you write. Occasionally you shower. You panic. You focus. You fold laundry because that’s productive. You take a few days off because you are tormented. You wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea, so fabulous you won’t forget it. In the morning, you can’t remember.
You visualize your book on a table at a bookstore. You see someone walk over to it and pick it up, read the back cover. You imagine this person buying your book (recognizing most people don’t buy books in bookstores but this is more satisfying than picturing someone placing an Amazon order). You cringe at the bad review in your mind. You hear your voice on the Diane Rehm Show. On a good day, you might rehearse your Academy Award acceptance speech for best adapted screenplay. On a bad day, you print out your manuscript and use it for kindling.
You write. You edit. You perfect. You write more. You find mistakes. You drive yourself crazy.
And in the end, you have a book.