Time for a confession.
My novel LOST NOTES has been frustrating me since I decided to examine my protagonist’s motivation. Instead of finding his, I lost mine. Then I walked away from the page. For more than a week, which is a huge deal for a daily writer like me.
Granted, my kid’s sick and we’ve had sleepless nights, and ridiculously early mornings, so I haven’t had much time to sit at the computer. But those are excuses. I’ve let my frustration about my story–and the negative self-talk I usually avoid–get in the way of moving forward.
I really believe this book, when finished, will be the best of my three novels. But what if it’s as good as it can be and nothing happens? What if the result is a big old so what? More specifically, what if I don’t find an agent? I’ve always written for myself, first and foremost, but obviously the industry is so strapped right now it’d be ridiculous to ignore that economic reality. Things may change in the next year or two (or four) while I’m writing and revising LOST NOTES, but they might not. There’s no guarantee, even if I write the amazing book I’m laboring to write, that I’ll find an advocate. Someone who believes enough in my work, and in me, to go out and try to sell it. And that’s a little depressing.
Usually writing’s enough. This week? It hasn’t been.
Part of the problem (other than the aforementioned sleep deprivation) is that I’ve been calculating how much of my life I’ve put on hold to write. I’ve begged off family events, postponed house projects, stayed inside my hotel room on vacations, woken up at crazy hours and missed out on a whole lot of good times so I could sit in front of the computer and bring a fictive world to life.
I suppose could use a dose of success. A pat on the back, even. But despite having a polished manuscript, BODY COPY, I have opted out of the agent hunt for now to focus on the new novel. Success won’t be coming any time soon because I’m not even out there hunting for it.
The only cure to this malaise–and all this dastardly thinking about the decline of the publishing industry–is to get back to writing on a daily basis. I’m a writer. I write. A breakthrough, or even an awesome sentence, will give me that sense of satisfaction that’s been missing all week. (Although I could probably still use a hug…)
What sacrifices have you made for your writing? What keeps you going?