Thursday, April 14, 2016

I Love Writing -- Except When I Don't

I Love You. I Hate You.

Ah, the writing life. I'm in the final third of a novel that I've been writing since last year. Ugh. I used to think of myself as a fast writer. I don't anymore. I think that's because of advanced age, but it could also have something to do with advanced wisdom. I'm more critical of my writing because I know more about the art.

However, there are days when writing is nothing short of torture. When each word is like a tooth extraction. When I delete more than I keep. When I wonder what's going on . . . have I lost it? Whatever "it" is?

Today? Well, today the writing is going fairly well. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Another handful of chapters and I can write "The End." Then begins the rewriting, revising, editing, and rewriting again. I'll be glad to reach those stages because I'm eager to jump into my next book.

I still love writing. I love daydreaming about upcoming scenes. I love creating new characters. I love plotting a new book. And most days, I love writing page upon page on a book that I've been dreaming and scheming about for weeks or even months.

There are also days when I look back and try to figure out what I've done wrong. Why do some writers take off and sell, sell, sell? Why didn't any of mine strike that perfect chord in millions of readers? I read the bestsellers in my field and I just don't see how most of them are better writers than me. On those days, when writer's blues grip me, it's difficult to march on. Even telling myself to be grateful for what I have accomplished often isn't enough to pull me out of the doldrums. Oh for those days when I was just beginning and believed beyond a shadow of doubt that I would "break out" with my next book and find a larger, more devoted
reading audience!

Nowadays I just hope for a decent number of reviews on Amazon, knowing that getting to the magic number of 50 (when Amazon takes notice) will be nearly impossible, no matter how much money I spend on promoting the book.

That's something that never changes in this writing life. The next book is always so much more promising than the one you're trying to write. It's the dangling of that carrot . . . the greener grass on the other side of the fence . . . the glimmer of a gold ring as you ride the carousel. It's what keeps us all writing -- when we love it and when we hate it -- the temptation of better days and better stories ahead of us.