One of my favorites on Off The Beaten Track,
Eluvium ~ Envenom Mettle
When does that magical day come? The one when you wake up and a voice inside your head says, “Ok, you’re ready now. Go ahead, publish.”
It’s the bright lights, big city illusion. The day of, “Ah…I’m here!” I’m not sure if that day really exists. For anyone.
I am pretty sure though, that no-one can tell you when you’re ready. No voice wakes you up rattling in your psyche to let loose the magical words. I’m afraid we all need to make the, “I’m ready for this,” decision on our own.
Even the big dogs in the industry had to suck it up and go on submission. Many of which were denied plenty before ever being accepted by publishers. Some of whom, even now and by their own admission, aren’t completely convinced of their talent as writers.
As the self published/ebook revolution comes more and more to the forefront, authors and writers have yet another big decision to make; whether or not to go it alone. No agent, no publishing house, no one there to pat you on the back and validate your work. No one to tell you it’s time to go public and it’ll all be ok. It’s just you and maybe a few paper bags for when the hyperventilation sets in as you hit ‘publish’ on Smashwords.
No longer is creating a query letter the main focus when your novel is finished. No longer are writers inundating agents slush piles left and right. Nope. Now, more and more of us are going it alone. No net. And for a plethora of reasons.
The big city, big lights dream seems to have shifted itself over the past few years. Writers are looking to simply be heard. And now they have the means of doing exactly that. We are in the age of bright lights, small town and about now, I’m thinking most of us are feeling pretty alright with that. We have the means of publishing our work and in the grand scheme of things, I believe that it is the ultimate goal. We all hope to be liked, have our words resonate, but at the end of the day, we also feel the need to just be read.
The rest is just glory.
First off…As if I do not have enough hair pulling going on with simply trying write, I have thrown myself into the twitter bowl. If nothing else, it should be entertaining to watch me crash and burn for a few weeks.
On a positive note, writing picked up steam last night and I was not only able to stomach the first 7 again, but actually made some good edits along the way. I’m on the upside of my carousel ride again…I pray it hangs in for a while.
(By Shannon9791 via Photobucket)
This is my new mantra. “This isn’t a rush job!” Only I try to say it calmly.
Do you have those days when you wonder if you should scrap it and walk away–or at least toward another project? But then you read a quote or an excerpt and you remember the reason you’re doing this in the first place? Me too.
There is this blind sort of faith that goes along with writing and finishing a novel. A faith you’re putting into the void in hopes that it will return the favor. As much as my mind seems to have taken a hiatus from any useful thoughts in relation to my (should already be finished) novel, I know I’ll never walk away from it. So in that light, I am attempting to acquire a new look on my writing. Slow and steady wins the race and all that.
In the end, what matters is that I don’t walk away, that I do stay focused (even when it seems impossible–even when that means taking a break) and that I don’t rush it. The ups and downs and backs and forths are tiring. And although I have been going back and forth for a year now with this process, somehow it feels more overwhelming than it ever has. I’m trying to convince myself it’s because this is the Final Draft and therefore, MUST be right. Either way, it isn’t a rush job and like I’ve said before, I’d rather be slow and right, than fast and wrong. So…I’ll be taking a break.
Today is the day. 9 days and counting. The 19th will mark one year since starting my novel. Although I would love to say that my one year mark will also mark my completion date, I can’t. I’m trying to find solace in the fact that numerous writers have taken years to finish their first novel. And of course the obvious fact of having it done right rather than just having it done. Happy 9 Days to go to me.
It may be upstream but I won’t stop. I know it may sound crazy, but my characters are what ultimately keep me moving. No matter how frustrated I may get or how many times I close the laptop and rest my head on the edge of the desk, they won’t let me stop writing. They are begging for their story to be told. And what can I say….? I owe it to them to make the most of this story and give it all I have. It’s a strange thing really. This is YA fiction, not reality, not a memoir. But the characters have become people. I’m guessing only my fellow writers can fathom where I’m coming from. As much as I may complain, it’s a good place to be.
I’ve realized what is creating the internal conflict I have from time to time with my WIP. I read too much. And I don’t mean I read too many novels, for me that would be an impossibility. I mean I read too many articles/blogs/sites on advice about writing. I don’t even do it intentionally. I’m not searching out “How to write a Novel” on google. But I do subscribe to a few writing sites/blogs, all of which are great but all of which have a topic on what to do and not to do when writing a novel. And I almost always read them. The advice was great in the beginning. It was useful and needed and helpful but now it’s distracting. And not because I don’t think it’s important information, believe me I do, and to those writing it, keep on. But at some point, and my point seems to have arrived, you need to take what you’ve learned and trust yourself.
Right now I need to believe in what I’m doing and stop continually second guessing it by reading conflicting opinions on how this whole process needs to be done. I should be reading about hooks and query letters not plots and character development. After what will be a year in three weeks, and a final draft in the works, I can only hope I got it right. Just goes to show how exhausted I am that I didn’t catch this elephant in the room earlier.