When I started writing my first book I was madly in love with the characters and the story and the world I had created. Not only did I love to write more and more about it, but I also loved to simply think about it. The moment I had finally finished it – writing as well as editing – I was so proud of what had become of my main character and how everything had turned out. I still am to this day. Yet, in contrast to before, I now need to remind myself once in a while why I fell in love with my ideas in the first place.
Although I’m already working on the second part of my little story, the second part of my characters’ journey and am still thinking about the world I have created a lot, translating it into my actual native language somehow makes me feel slightly different about the whole thing. Writing and reading it in another language makes it sometimes rather weird for me to think like my main character would or to feel the way she does. Sometimes it’s almost as if I am not as much a part of the story or the book anymore as I was when I first wrote it.
I feel like my own native language – German – almost takes a part of my love for the world I have created away.
It might be the fact that for me writing in German always feels like writing an exam or an essay for school. Or it might be the fact that I have not read a book in German – aside from the last few school books I had had to read about a year and a half ago – in four years. I’ve preferred reading in English for a while now, preferred even watching movies or TV-shows in English and listening to English music. At some points even the monologues in my head started to be in my second language. There were only few things I actually still did in German – like talking to my family or other people I met throughout the day. But I spent most of my time in a world filled with English words and phrases and things like that. My native language wasn’t as important or as enjoyable to me as my second language.
And yet, despite the fact that I feel like writing an essay while I’m actually translating my book and despite the fact that it somehow takes away a part of my love, I am still proud of what I’ve created. I still love it, even if it sometimes seems kind of difficult to do so. After all it’s my creation, my own little story and my own little world. It’s mine and it will never not be mine.
But how do I stay so madly in love with my book? How do I continue to enjoy my ideas and be proud of my characters?
Well, I simply try to remind myself of every little thing I created and every little thing I felt about it in the first place.
What did I create? I created a whole new world and a whole new setting with all kinds of difficulties for my main character and everybody else. I created a new kind of magicians, of witches and wizards and I created an antagonist of a very dark, grim kind. There are new kinds of foods and animals in my little world and there is hope as well as despair. It’s a proper world with proper people and its own story which grows with each and every new page. And, despite some of the darker aspects of the story, it’s my little safe haven. Without my book, without my little world, without my story I would feel a little less safe and a little less myself.
I created a whole new world, a new story and a kind of safety blanket for me and my creativity.
What did I feel about it all when I first started writing? Well, in the beginning I wasn’t exactly sure where everything would lead me. I didn’t know how my story would turn out, didn’t know what my characters would be like. There were a lot of doubts and questions and also some kind of fear within me. But as I continued to write about my ideas, as I continued to get new ideas about my little world, the doubts and questions were slowly diminished and the fear – although it never fully left me even to this day – started to turn into excitement and anticipation.
I love my ideas and I love what I have created, no matter what happens next.
So, when you’re struggling to enjoy what you’re doing – be it writing or reading or working or whatever else – just try to remind yourself why you loved doing so in the first place. Try to think about all the things that drew you towards it, all the reasons you started it. And remind yourself to love your ideas and what you’ve created and might still be creating.