Readers, I’ll be totally honest with you… I was sitting in my latest critique session this last week with my AMAZING group of writers and I was feeling somewhat sorry for myself. Neee Nuuurrr (that’s my terrible attempt at the downer-horn-sound – haha).
My group was bringing up some really great points about my current WIP and, while I was hearing them loud and crystal clear, I couldn’t help but think, but…but that means the 10,000 words I’ve written are mostly trash…
It’s hard! You get attached, you think things are going well, and when someone (or four) tell you otherwise, you need a minute to cope, to mourn. And that’s not even most of it. You see, I can rework those four or five chapters, no problem. I see what they’re talking about for sure. It’ll take me a weekend at most to fix this and HOW GREAT that they helped me realize my mis-steps at 10k instead of 50k….right?! The biggest stab to my ego came wrapped up in the package of, but this is my 7th book! I shouldn’t need help! How am I still making these mistakes? (For me it’s always tension tension conflict conflict.)
And in my cloudy party of pity, I remember something I once read in the acknowledgments of a Wendell Berry book. He said…
“Maybe I believed once that some day I would be able to write a novel by myself, and probably I thought I would be glad when that day came. It has never come. This novel, my seventh, has put me more in need of help than any of the previous six. And so my practice of this art has led, not to independence, but to debt and to gratitude — a better fate.”
That’s not all, but it’s the part that makes my soul take a moment to sigh, smile, and be okay with the fact that this art of ours is not a solitary endeavor.
The rest of my week has done nothing but remind me of this wonderful truth. SOOOO many people are in this writing thing with me. When I sat down and actually thought about it, about the number, the amount of support, it astounded me, humbled me, and shut those pity-party-vibes right down.
First, and this is super squeal-worthy, I currently have two books in production as audiobooks! Finding Axiom (and, eventually, the whole trilogy) as well as A Chance for Sunny Skies will soon be available for you to listen to. And, OMG, are they amazing! I can’t wait for obvious reasons, but along the lines of this post, it just proves that those are two more people who believe in my books and care about them. How cool is that?
The next awesome thing that happened was that my lovely friend, Andrea, over at thewholesky did a photoshoot for me this week and I will soon have real author photos!! Not only did we have a blast, but it meant so much to me to have her take time out of her busy, raising-two-awesome-humans schedule and spend it on me. I can’t wait for you to see her amazing work!
Lastly, EVERY TIME I see a new review up there about one of my books, I want to hug my computer. You guys! Your kind words. How you love these characters, too. All of it makes me feel like I might just melt. If you ever had a doubt that your review means something to the author, I’m here to tell you for-sure-yes-it-does and, also, THANK YOU!
So, yes, I do need help with my writing. I can’t do it alone. I suppose, now that I think about it, I wouldn’t want to. Mr. Berry was right; knowing people care about you and your art is definitely a better fate.
Whelp! I’m off to go fix those chapters on that new book and keep on writing because that’s the job and boy do I love it. =)