“I had to go back to the start and find a new path…and let me tell you, every memory I have of what came next, with very few exceptions, is painful. It was nothing but struggle. It was Sisyphus pushing that damn rock up the hill, only to have it roll back down again. I worked and worked at it, mostly in a back bedroom …
People imagine that writing The Last Unicorn was an enchanted voyage, a trip to the moon on gossamer wings, but that was not the case. It took me close to two years, and it was hard every step of the way.”
-from “A Conversation with Peter S. Beagle“
I recently purchased the Graphic Novel version of “The Last Unicorn” and discovered this interview & subsequent quote as a bonus in the back. There is much more insight into the author’s life and journey from burgeoning teen novelist to the legend Beagle is today. I found it not only fascinating but inspirational.
For my fellow authors out there, I know this quote resonated with you as well as it did me, because I’ve totally been there. When you are writing a novel that seems like such a constant struggle you long to abandon it. A small voice in your head seems to whisper, “why bother?” and you almost convince yourself it shouldn’t be so difficult.
Beagle reminded me that sometimes the most worthwhile things you’ll ever write are the uphill battles. I’m a new author and have a very long way to go before I pen something as perfect as The Last Unicorn. Beagle rewrote his most beloved novel a couple of times before it became the version we know today. It is a fresh reminder not to give up when he going gets tough, but to forge ahead. Because of Beagle, I will continue to struggle willingly, gladly.