It has never been a secret that I want to be a writer, so it is totally normal that I received Terry Brooks’s Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life for Christmas sometime in high school. (The book was published in 2003, so probably my junior year.) I read the book a couple times, but this is not going to be a review of that book. Mostly because I don’t remember it well enough to say much about it! (The thing that sticks out most is him saying that lounging by the pool with a drink is working for a writer mulling over ideas. I think of that almost every time I go to laze outside!)
But the title of the book, ah now there is something. That has been popping into my head all week. Why? Because it’s true. Sometimes the magic works! And it is amazing.
Writing is not an easy business. I’ve never heard of anyone say otherwise. There are days—and months and years—where it can be incredibly frustrating. I don’t even want to go in to how many times I have been checking my email, refreshing my QueryTracker list for new comments, stalking agents on Twitter hoping to glean a hint of where they are at with queries, checking my email again, etc… Rejections mount up. Ideas dry up. Words refuse to come. We wonder why we ever wanted to do this at all, and we think about giving up.
But then! There are the times that we write and write. That what we are writing may not be earth-shatteringly great, but it’s pretty damn good. It’s a book that I want to be written just so I can read it already. Words pour forth, scenes flow, a book comes together almost as we envision. It makes almost everything else worthwhile, to be caught up in the creation of an entirely new thing that has never existed before. It can’t really be predicted or pinned down or explained completely. We take it when we can get it.
Sometimes the magic works.