Time for a little sharing.
I have been writing The Square Grand in one form or another for about a decade. Some years I work really hard on it, and there have been other years where I was too busy living life to write. But the years where I didn’t put a new word on the page were the years I needed to grow as a person. The tumult and pain of any life, no matter how privileged and easy, is still going to contain heartbreak. Some people get that pain out of the way early, and I guess both congratulations and I’m sorry…?
I could not have written my current draft as the person I was when I started. When I was a kid taking piano lessons, my piano teacher was trying to get me to play a certain passage with emotion. I was your typical straight A kid: obsessive with her need to please. I mimicked everything he did, but the magic wasn’t there. He said, “That’s okay. You haven’t fallen in love yet.”
I thought, That’s dumb, I love my parents.
I was twelve, I think.
A decade later, the first night I stared at the ceiling above my bed all night, not sleeping because of heartbreak, then finally getting up because my pillow was too wet from tears, I thought of what my piano teacher had said. It was a small, wry moment where I thought, I bet I could play that now with the proper feeling.
Same thing with The Square Grand.
As I write this, I have my current draft, which I swear to you is the final one, which is the draft after the last one that I swore was my final one. Funny how the work keeps cropping up. But I suppose that is everyone’s favorite word to hate: Perseverance.
Books are work. Writing is hard. Love is both of those things, and we all seem to want that.
[Insert favorite inspirational cat picture here]