The Hockey Player wasn't wrong when he said writing takes a long time. I started writing The Exit Strategy last late summer/early fall, just finished draft three, and am hoping to get through a couple more drafts before the Nicholl rolls around in May. That's nearly two years, and I have little idea if the draft I send to the Nicholl will be the final draft.
This is why I try to be careful when picking projects. If you're going to dedicate years of your life to a project, you've got to be convinced that 1. this is a project you like enough to get you through those years and 2. this is a project that will help your career. [I fully believe that faith in #2 is more difficult and uncertain than faith in #1.]
There are a lot of stories I could write. But I feel like there are a few kinds of stories I am meant to write. One kind of story that I like to explore is the redemption story. The redemption of people, the redemption of situations, how the bad becomes good. But when it comes to writing the bad before the good, I'm a little squeamish. When I write about the gray areas of life, how do I show understanding without sanction? Shouldn't I raise the stakes? How "bad" am I willing to go? Or am I afraid of the judgment on me if I write something deemed inappropriate?
The problem is, if I gloss over hard situations, if I keep things just partly cloudy, how powerful will redemption be? Isn't it the greater the fall, the greater the grace? If someone is saved from just a slightly harrowing situation, how much faith will I inspire in redemption? Isn't it true that the greater the debt forgiven, the greater love inspired?
Too bad I didn't want to become an accountant instead of a writer.