I know I’ve been spewing on this blog since last night, but I have a hundred million emotions, and I haven’t been blogging, so in some ways, these hundred million emotions have been locked up inside me, and I need to get them OUT OUT OUT. I’m a mess, to be honest.
So, lately I’ve been a little (or more) stung when one of my favorite authors has really been slamming the whole “pantsers” process. For those unfamiliar with my terminology here, it’s a term you hear in the writing word: some are plotters (they plot and plan prior to writing a book) and some are “pantsers” (they write by the seat of their pants). I write my first drafts as a pantser. It’s the only way 1) I know how and 2) I can. I’ve tried to plot before, and then I lose all the energy around the project and can’t even start it.
Anyway, this writer I really admire has been really shredding the pantser process, saying that you can’t write a life-changing book that way. In addition, this other blog I follow and really respect said much the same thing. It’s hard not to feel attacked, even though obviously these posts aren’t aimed directly at me– but indirectly, they are!
I want to be indignant and upset and mad and frustrated (and I am … and have even spouted off on Twitter about it a little), but I also want to acknowledge that I’m new to this. Yes, I’ve been writing my whole life, but not professionally. My first book comes out in just over a week, and I’m working on a second one. I’m at the starting line. This would not be the first time that I’ve vocally disagreed with something that I later come to embrace. Which is why I’m being hesitant. I could see myself eating my words in ten years. Because I’m hasty and an amateur.
But GOSH, does it bother me to have people that I respect slam my writing process! It’s so very hard to have an author I admire essentially prescribe the right way to write. Yes, a pantser probably has a lot more rounds of revisions– but I’d hope that the final product masks that. Yet, this author says that a well-thought-out perfect sentence on the front end will always be better than a multiple-times-revised sentence. I just can’t win.
It probably shouldn’t bother me the way it does. But it’s hard to have a hero say, “You’re doing it wrong.”
I’m cranky and tremendously emotional, and I feel snubbed by the profession in more ways than one. Oh, and I forgot to take my OCD meds yesterday, which I’m sure doesn’t help things.
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I thought getting the book deal would be the hardest part of the publication process, but that’s not even close. The revisions were so much harder and the emotions are a BEAST. Sometimes I’m not sure I’ll ever figure out the writing life– or how to toughen up my skin enough to make it in this field I love. I never imagined that a week away from publishing my debut novel I would feel so sad and alone and scared and bedridden.
Sigh. And I need to revise novel #2 today. It’s okay. I chose this life, and I honestly do love it. I can’t imagine not being a writer. It is one of the sweetest joys I’ve ever been allowed– a reason I believe in God!– but oh, is it ever hard.
Thank you for listening. ❤