I woke up this morning and realized it’s Wednesday already. I’m not quite sure where the rest of the week went, but my To Do list isn’t getting any shorter so I’d better get on the ball! LOL.
I’m still plugging away at the Urban Fantasy and I’ve hit a bit of a rough spot where I’ve lost the vision of where I’m going, so it’s been slow going for the past few days. But my mind was mulling it over last night and I had some dreams that helped me fill in gaps in my story. So, I’ll go back and add those in when I get to Starbucks today. You know, it’s kind of funny, but I realize this happens to me during every book I write. I have character sketches and a general world planned out. I know where I want to start and where I want to end up–at least generally, but the middle is rough for me. I usually hit about 40 or 50K and then flounder until my subconscious kicks in and I start dreaming about my story. It’s also usually at this point where the doubts kick in. You know–”Why did I ever think I could write another book?” (even though this is my tenth book). “Why did I ever like this story idea to begin with? What was I thinking??” (even though during the rough part of the last book I was jonesing to get started on this one), and the worst, “OMG! What if I finish the book, it sucks so badly that no one ever reads it and my writing career is over?!?” (even though I know I think that with every book, and they usually turn out very well and I get great fan response)
What insecure creatures we writers are. You would think we’d gain a modicum of self-confidence over our craft, and sometimes I actually do think I’m passable at this writing thing. But I think that’s part of the irony of the universe. Writers that I’ve met who think they are wonderful and brilliant and all that–I usually don’t like their books. They are flowery, and self-important and even sometimes preachy. But so many writers I know who angst like I do over every book–their characters are so real they jump off the page, their pain and happiness and every other emotion so vivid I can feel it like I’m them. And their worlds are places I want to spend as much time as possible. I can only hope my books continue to speak to readers as I journey through the process each time, because no matter how difficult this is (and it IS difficult) it’s worth it in the end, and writing makes me truly happy.
You know I recently read a blog (I don’t remember where or I would link to it) where a new writer was going through her first ever edits, and she was marveling at how difficult the process was and how eye-opening. Not because the editors were hard asses, but because they made her think about her work in a different way. They made her move past the characters and world inside her head and look at the mechanics of her writing–they made her work to be the best she can be. Talk about painful! I have friends who LOVE edits. I’m not one of them. Don’t get me wrong–I WANT edits because I know they make my stories better and make me continue to work and learn as a writer, but they are definitely painful. I mean, you slave over a book and basically live this other life with several characters for however long it took you to write the book, and then someone else comes along and points out all the things you missed, all the things that didn’t make it from your brain to the page correctly–and worst of all–your plot holes! (What do you mean my vampires are fighting during broad daylight!! Don’t laugh, this was during Fire Maiden, but my whole crit group missed it, too!)
This whole writing thing is like stepping inside another universe–and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So for those of you sitting there wanting to write a book some day–make sure you’re ready for the hard work, angst, self-doubt, the condescending pat on the head from friends and family until you’re published (and sometimes even after), the edits, the reviews–both good and bad, and also the satisfaction of seeing your name on that book cover and having someone tell you for the first time that they loved your book–and then don’t look back. Write, write, write, build your craft and learn your trade and don’t let anyone derail you from achieving your dream. So as Nike says – JUST DO IT!