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What I’m Writing: NaNoWriMo Week Two Update

November 12, 2011

This week has been hard for me. Not because the writing part of the equation was hard, but because the oh-so crippling self-doubt snuck into my brain and laid a whole bunch of evil eggs there.

This happens from time to time. I’ll be chugging along on my work in progress (WIP) and I’ll be feeling great about it and then, right as I’m really hitting my stride this supremely evil voice from somewhere in my brain whispers, “Why are you wasting your time? I mean, out of all those people who want agents and want to be published, why would anyone ever pick you out of a slush pile? Do you really think you are talented enough to have an agent be so impressed with your miserable little manuscript that they’ll actually want to represent you? That they’ll actually want to spend time and energy otherwise used on writers worth a damn on you?”

I won’t lie to y’all, that stupid voice is staggering and crippling and makes me want to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth. It’s really just the worst. And sometimes it’s really hard to not listen to it. Because I think, “You know, Evil Voice, you are right. If I just give up now, I’ll really benefit from not having to go through the sting of rejection letters and critiques and mean reviews. And! I’d have so much more free time! And I’d see my friends more often! And I could just sit and watch all those TV shows I want to watch! And I’d sleep more!”

This voice of self-doubt really hit me hard this week. I spent a lot of last weekend writing and really loving where my manuscript was headed and then BAM. There was The Evil Voice. It was so convincing that I actually took a couple days in the middle of the week away from my WIP thinking that if I walked away from it and didn’t feel the need to go back to it, I wouldn’t.

But of course I felt that pull. On Friday I woke up able to see an entire scene that had been giving me fits earlier in the week. I could hear dialogue, as if my characters had come to life and I was just listening to them have a conversation. (I’ve never claimed to be normal.) And if that weren’t enough, a couple characters I actually had walked away from about a year ago started whispering to me too. (I missed them a whole bunch. I’m glad they’re back.)

So, for me, what this all boils down to is this: Yes, I desperately (so, so desperately) want to be agented (I think I made that word up) and published. I’ve wanted to be published since I was seven-years-old, and that dream isn’t going to go away. I want it so badly that it hurts. And sometimes I do this really unhealthy thing where I go into a bookstore and stare at the spot where my book would go on the shelf. Normally this makes me cry a little. And yes, obviously, I would love for this manuscript to be the one that gets me an agent and is sold to my dream pub house and sells lots o’ copies and gives me piles o’ monies.

But if this isn’t the magic manuscript that gives me all of those things, I’ll live. (I’ll be sad, but it won’t kill me. I don’t think.) I have other stories rattling around in my brain and characters who want to be brought to the page. And most importantly, I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep writing and learning and honing and growing and hopefully one day (please let it be in the not-too-distant future) all of my publication dreams will come true. But if they don’t . . .

If they don’t I guess I’ll just self-pub. 😉

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