In preparation for The Last Jedi, I am re-watching all live-action Star Wars movies to date in the days leading up to the day I have tickets (not Thursday or Friday, but I’ll survive).
I love these stories. Always have. They actually inspired me to start getting more serious about fiction writing in junior high (yeah, I’m a nerd, I’ve fully embraced it).
I just finished Revenge of the Sith which, in my opinion, is one of the most heartbreaking ends to a trilogy I have ever seen.
Granted, in the grand scheme of things, I’ve seen very few movies. But whatever. I just cried for an hour and a half straight. Let me have my moment.
I’ve spent a lot of time with these stories, and the expanded universe, and the newly formed expanded universe (sigh). But there’s just something about returning to a familiar fictional world that has inspired me to continue creating with a new wave of determination and passion behind me.
I needed a reminder that writing stories audiences will love requires putting your characters through many tough things. Things you don’t like. Things you know will leave your readers screeching in protest in response to your plot twists and surprise reveals.
You see, I sort of almost gave up on my book earlier this week.
The book I’m now almost 67,000 words into — meaning, I’m almost, almost done.
Why did I consider quitting? Because i got hard, guys. I got cranky. I didn’t want to do it anymore. It was too sad. It was too draining. Without NaNoWriMo, I started feeling a little unmotivated, without a big reason to keep going.
So why have I kept going anyway?
Because what would have happened if George just gave up? Huh? We’d have no Star Wars. That sounds like a terrible world to live in.
I’m not saying my stories will ever have as much value as those set in a galaxy far, far away. Nope.
But what happens if my story is just meant to be out there, and I never let it have its moment?
That wouldn’t be fair to my future readers. Or to myself. I haven’t put almost six weeks into this book just to quit for no reason other than it got a little difficult.
If you’re struggling to keep going, I encourage you to go back to those stories you love. The ones that inspired you to start writing in the first place. The ones that remind you why continuing on — and finishing — are worth the struggle.
If the writers of your favorite stories quit, those stories never would have found you.
Where would you be now, if it weren’t for them?
Don’t give up. You’re not done yet.
You will be. As long as you keep going.
I know you can do it. Trust your instincts. Write. No matter how hard it is. You won’t regret it.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.