I just need to blather for a while, friends. Got your hot cocoa? Good. Let’s go.
I got some tough feedback on my novel last week. And I fell apart. Temporarily. As in, for about half an hour. This is improvement, folks. It’s just hard– so hard– so unbelievably hard– to pour your soul into something and then have it found wanting. (Nevermind that I myself find the manuscript wanting. It’s an entirely different thing to hear someone else voice it.) I tried to hold it together. I tried not to cry. Then I figured, what the heck, and let myself. Then I couldn’t stop for a while. I had a couple minutes where I thought, I can’t do this. This isn’t the life for me. I’ve moved on from that dark place. For now.
What sucks is that there’s more (and worse) coming. Last week were the preliminary thoughts. Soon there will be the smack-down. I’ll probably cry again, probably consider abandoning the life of publication for a while. But I’ll also probably bounce back, revise like hell, and come out on the other side with something I’m proud of.
I read somewhere that writers have to have thin skin in order to write well but thick skin in order to publish. How do you have both? I know I wrote about compartmentalizing. I’m trying. I’m trying.
Star Wars was amazing. I’m so ready to be in the “safe zone” where I can talk through things without worrying about spoilers. Let’s just say that it was so refreshing to see a female lead like Rey. Daisy Ridley knocked it out of the park, and tonight I found myself tearing up over this article. (Warning: spoilers!)
I got the sweetest message from a reader on Instagram. Moments like this make the pain of publication so worthwhile. And notice that I said the pain of publication. I’m starting to separate things a little bit: the writing is a joy. The publication process is what’s so hard, I think. (And don’t get me wrong– I have an editor with a heart the size of the ocean. It’s not her. It’s me.) Even above where I wrote about “considering abandoning the life of publication”– I wouldn’t consider abandoning writing. I have to write. It’s my calling. I would feel so vacant if I wasn’t creating.
But publishing. Man, is it ever hard. At least, it is for me. I wonder if I will still feel this way after I can no longer count my books on one hand.
I’ve read four hard books in a row. About mental illness. Abortion and depression. The Holocaust. Losing the physical ability to pursue one’s dreams. I haven’t reviewed them all. I’m not sure that I will. I really like for my blog to be a place where I can really sing about the books I’ve loved. Not that I want to read fluff! I’m never really one for fluff. But maybe I need a little fluff. The last four books just pressed me deeper and deeper into the earth. I need a book to hold out a hand to me, pull me out of the hole. Any suggestions? These are the next ones on my radar, but I’d love to hear your suggestions.
It’s snowing in Minneapolis tonight. It’s not supposed to stop until 6 pm tomorrow. And I’m okay with it. For tonight. For this exact moment.
How are you, my friends?