Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is it worth it?

For those who don’t know, I play soccer. Mind you, it’s over 35 soccer, but it’s still pretty competitive. I’ve played with the same team for the last three years and we’ve grown pretty close. About a month ago we were getting ready for a game; putting on our ankle braces and applying tiger balm and all kinds of ointments to our aches and pains. Soon the conversation turned to which chiropractors were the best, and who was a good massage therapist. In the middle of the conversation someone asked, “Why do we do this again?”

We had a particularly rough game where I incurred a few bruises and limped off the field, but in the end it was worth it (helped that we won and I scored). Later we decided that we love to play soccer for several reasons: for the exercise, the excitement, and most of all the friendship.

Looking at my bruises (yes, I know, I'm in serious need of a pedicure), and limping up the stairs on a regular basis made me think about writing and what makes it so worth it. For those who are published or have an agent there’s a tangible reason. For those of us who have yet to reach those milestones, what makes writing worth it? What makes those late nights, never-ending edits, and constantly wondering if anyone will like what we’ve written worth the worry?

For me it’s the feeling of accomplishment. I’ve written a novel. It might never get published and no one, besides family will ever read it, but I did it. Now as I start working on my second one the excitement of seeing if I can do it again is what keeps me going through the late nights, the sore wrists (from typing), and constantly carrying a notebook around.

What makes it worth it to you?


strugglingwriter said...

Great battle scars :)

I'll say it again that I wish I still played soccer. I surely miss it. I don't bruise very easily, so I wouldn't look at cool as you.

What keeps me going is the little notes of encouragement I get when I post some writing. I really like it when my writing entertains somebody.

Jenn Johansson said...

I agree. There aren't many in the world who can truthfully say they've completed a novel. Let alone more than one. It's an accomplishment in and of itself. :)

Patti said...

SW: The bruise is two weeks old in the photo and was much worse. I agree with the little voices of encouragement. It totally makes it worth it.

Jenn: I think it's quite an accomplishment and I'm hoping I can make it to two by the end of the year.

Lazy Writer said...

I'd have to say the little milestones keep me going. Like you said, when I first started out, I didn't think I'd ever finish an entire novel, but I did. And it felt so good, I want that feeling again. So I keep on writing.

Patti said...

Susan: It's definitely the milestones. The first chapter, the first draft then the first time you let someone read it. It's all exciting.

Robyn Campbell said...

Soccer is a cool game. I ride horses which can be pretty harsh in it's own way. Great scars! :) Think of 'em as your trophy. Hope your writing goes that well. :)

Patti said...

Robyn: I love soccer, my only regret is that I started playing it when I was 30. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Heidi Willis said...

Woa! Wicked bruise!!

I love the analogy, though. I've certainly felt at times like the writing/publishing process has bruised me like that.

But would I stop? I don't think so. I love knowing that I have overcome something I wasn't sure I could. I love the feeling of having accomplished something that feels big.

I don't play soccer, but I run. And it's the same feeling.

It hurts sometimes, but it feels really good to keep pushing through, and trying to push each time just a little further.

Patti said...

Heidi: I guess those bruises we get a long the way make us stronger, isn't that what they say. Running is hard on your body as well. I hate doing it but it feels good when I'm done.

jenniferneri said...

My husband played rugby when I met him. Oh la la! the bruises!
I was a ballet dancer, no bruises, but boy oh boy, what ugly feet!

Good question you ask! For me, the reward lies all with the necessity to have the story told. It drives me, needing to get out, and if too much time passes without having written I feel it. Almost like going stir crazy.

Patti said...

Jennifer: I know what you mean. Makes it difficult to work on a few stories at once.