When I started writing VISIONS, it was a pipe dream. It was my first attempt to writing a book. A real book. My husband thought I was crazy (which is partly true), friends and family were like, "Oh, that's so nice - a hobby...", and even though I was DEAD serious about it, I was clueless about the process. About the agents and the proper way to write a hook and how you shouldn't have a prologue. Don't even get me started on how blind I was to queries. I wrote because the story spoke to me. It came effortless. And even though I felt like a zombie pushing through 8 hour workdays and 3 hours sleep, living on nothing but words, I loved the feeling.
Finishing it was bittersweet. And up to that point, I had only had my two personal cheerleaders urging me to keep going and filling me with a sense of accomplishment to have gotten as far as I had. I revised and edited countless times, all on my own, because I was ignorant to the publishing world. I had no idea how to find a critique partner. Where to go for help.
Now, that I am fully immersed into the blogging world and I have found an amazing support system, I've written my query, have devoted critique partners, and I'm a part of a tight knit writing community with DFW Writer's Workshop, I am strangely in a dark place. It makes no sense. But the only way that I can describe it is as Rebecca Stead puts it in the book When You Reach Me. She writes on the topic of lifting, for a moment, the "veil" that generally hides from us "the world as it really is," in all its "beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love" (p. 71).
I love this. Because it's so true. The veil was thick on my face, covering my eyes, when I was clueless to the "real" writing world. I wasn't concerned about anything but getting the words down. And they came so naturally and easily.
The blogging world, in all it's fabulous, has lifted a corner of my veil. The agents blogs, the harsh reality of what it is truly like to be a writer, and the holes/major problems in my story are all a part of what it looks like to have my veil lifted.
And while I'm glad to not be naive about the publishing world, I yearn for that deep desire and urgency to write the words that used to be so freely available in my mind -that are now caged by the dos and don'ts that are apparent every where I turn.
The self doubt is taking over, creating a sickening black hole inside me. As excited as I was about making it through the first round of ABNA, I have resolved with myself that I need to be happy with just that because there is A LOT of work that needs to be done on my MS. And it's not just day surgery. It looks like it might need some major reconstructive surgery.
In order to do that, though, I might need to put a thin veil back over my eyes, tune out all of the advice swarming in my brain, and JUST WRITE.
Thankfully, Tina Lynn at Sweet Niblets is crackin' the whip and has offered up a challenge. I am a competetive person by nature, and so when someone says challenge, I'm there. Five hundred words a day. I am doing it. With my veil on - opaque, maybe, instead of my heavy, velvet one I wore before. If you're needing someone to light a fire under your ars, then she might be the person to keep you lit. :)