First up, the ROW80 update. Blind Sight, the anthology short story I was writing, is done and OUT THE DOOR. Huzzah! So I am back to Red and happy to be there. I’m at about 1100 words since Sunday (yeah, it’s Wednesday, I’m uncaffeinated, and frankly, I’m too lazy to look up the specifics just now), plus I had a full read through of Red from the beginning over the weekend to get back into that voice after being away from it for three weeks. The scene that I’m on is taking a bit longer than I’d expected, but it’s turning out differently (and better) than I planned. Another one of those moments where there’s a lot more overlap and synchronicity than I’d initially realized so that it looks like I did all this stuff on purpose. Which, technically, once I realized the possibilities were there, I did. Anyway, the post agent high is wearing off enough that I’m back to almost normal work capacity on the writing front. I still haven’t quite gotten out of fantasy land to be back to full evil day job productivity. I keep grinning like an idiot and going off into la la land. I’m allowed. I’ve been waiting for this for seventeen years.
I can’t count the number of people who have told me in the last week that I’m an inspiration. Good gracious, y’all…do you have any idea how heady and HUMBLING that is? I mean, Claire is always telling me I’m a rock star (because she’s an awesome cheerleader like that and, seriously, if you’re not already following her on her blog or Twitter, you should because she’s awesome. Wait, I said that… Well, it’s doubly true. She’s my little ray o’ sunshine.), but you know, she’s biased, as she’s practically my sister from another mother. To hear it from a bunch of other people is like…wow!
What is up with all these “likes”? Do I turn into a valley girl without caffeine? I digress.
The whole writing and publishing business is a hard, hard thing, no matter which route you choose. From the get go, we are smacked in the face with all these astronomical odds that we’ll ever get an agent, get a contract, get published, that our book will sell… It’s really easy to let the negativity get you down and just make you want to QUIT. Except if you do that, you don’t get the excuse of being a writer as why you’ve got voices in your head. Because it’s not like they shut UP when you’re not writing. They only tend to get LOUDER. And even if you do keep slogging on, there’s the great risk of turning into a bitter, cranky, angry person.
I know, I did it. I spent a LOT of the last decade hanging out in that dark space, not really because the writing thing hadn’t turned into a Thing yet, but because I was raised to believe that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything. So I busted my tush all through school, excelled academically, graduated at the top of my class for undergrad and grad school. And…nobody cared. Contrary to what my parents taught me…working hard in school does NOT automatically guarantee you a good job (the world has changed a lot since THEY graduated college). Talk about a slap in the face! I was angry, angry, angry about it. It was like all my hard work had been wasted. Not like I would have coasted by if I’d known otherwise because that’s just not in my makeup, but I felt like I’d been the victim of some cruel joke.
Then I started taking writing seriously, making it a priority, doing all the stuff you’re suppose do to improve craft and build a platform. And it all felt so SLOW because I’d put it off while doing all those other Allegedly Practical Things that were supposed to put me in a position to make a good living. I admit to being possessed by the Green-Eyed Monster and Hulking out with fury at some of the successes I saw because holy CRAP I was working so hard and didn’t I deserve SOMETHING? I was really NOT a nice person to be around.
So to finally, FINALLY have things start to fall into place is just all the sweeter. I’ve been walking around the last two weeks with a gushy candy coating of happy and it really makes me realize how NOT happy I was before. And really, there is already enough negativity and BLEH in the world, so to all of you who followed me anyway, thank you for sticking with me. Moving forward I really want to focus on the positive, not only because there’s a metric ton of it right now, but because I am so GRATEFUL to be able to say that I wasn’t taught wrong. If you work hard enough, long enough, you really CAN achieve anything you want. And if I can be a light bobbling along somebody else’s path through the Dark Place to remind them of that, it’s a job I intend to take seriously.