Back in the Groove
Well, we're back, baby. Not only with a new blog post (which I'm even writing the night before so I can focus on the novel in the morning) but also with the book. It's been a bit of a struggle, as I've talked about over the last few months, but I'm finally back into the feeling of the story and the excitement of getting it written. Tomorrow, assuming all goes to plan, I'll easily cross the 30k mark and we'll get into the meat of the novel. That's roughly halfway, and when the downhill ride to the glorious words "The End" finally make their appearance. Although to be fair, I've never actually ended a manuscript with the phrase. There's a first time for everything, so maybe we'll give it a try.
I've managed to write every day for at least the past week, and I think that's been a big part of finding my groove again. It's so easy to take a day off from writing, which becomes a few days, which becomes a few weeks, which makes it harder and harder to get back to the page and make any meaningful progress. Anne Lamott talked a lot about writing everyday, even if it's complete word salad that means nothing at all, if only to keep the muscle working and the habit on track. I've been echoing that sentiment for a while now, but when things get tough, it's easy to slip into a not doing mentality. Breaking out of it takes willpower. Generally, I'm not great with willpower, but when it comes to writing it seems to be one of the few things that I find myself persevering on even when it gets tough.
There's days where I think about my timeline for the next novel, and the expectations that I'm putting on myself, and I wonder what I'm doing it for. At the end of the day, it's all just for fun, and there's no one pushing me to write these stories or publish them. No one is pushing me to look into editors or rethink cover choices, or spend time mapping timelines in hopes of creating a well thought out plot. I'm doing this because I enjoy it. I'm doing this because I'd love to have this be my full time job, to get paid to spend my days writing and giving folks my random stories. The ultimate goal is to make it a living. Currently, though, it's just a hobby. Some might call it a side hustle. A passion project. Whatever you want to call it, it's not something I'm relying on to survive day to day, and it's so easy to become discouraged and close up shop. Instead of spending money on marketing and energy on social media posts and stepping out of my comfort zone to engage with people, I could easily give up and play video games for the rest of my life.
But I don't want to.
I've finally found something that I enjoy. Something that allows me to express some creativity in ways that I never expected, and something that other people seem to enjoy as well.
Writing being the dream career is just a small bonus on top.
I think that's part of the reason this book has been such a rollercoaster. Not only because it's the first book that I've actively blogged about and been open with the development of, but it's also the book that I'm trying to put the most effort into. The one I would like to be the most polished. The one that will sell well, the one that will help me achieve the dream that I've been dreaming for these years. The self imposed pressure is high, but my goal to make it has become a driving force.
Speaking of polish for this novel, I've been speaking to a freelance editor and I'm starting to get the twinge of excitement from the idea of having them work with me on the story. Of course, I need to finish it first, but this second draft will make for a much tighter draft, and the self editing should be a lot less invasive as the first draft. While I've used beta readers and a proofreader for the last novel, which helped with the small grammatical things, I've never had an editor look through a story and help shape the pacing and motivation and mold the story into the best it could be.
I think that's about to change, and that's yet another reason why I think this novel is going to be the one that cements the goals in my life. I'm excited to see what the future holds, for sure.
I'm also excited to take you all - the few people who keep up with the blog - along for the ride. Strap in, because I think the road ahead is still going to have some bumps, but the destination is well worth it.
P.s. I have some random signed copies of the books sitting at my house doing nothing, and I'm still trying to come up with a plan for them. If you have any ideas, or you want to randomly buy one, or whatever, let me know. Message me on...any social media or email me and we can work something out, I'm sure.