Sunday, February 14, 2010

Stop at the Happy Place!

Writers are not always happy people, especially when we are mulling over our works in progress or even our finished works. Tell me you haven't had that moment of finding/remember/realizing a huge typo or plot hole or grammar goof moments AFTER you hit send or put a manuscript in the mail box and wanted to crawl in after it and fix it.

When my first book came out I'd say "While other people are having labels printed that say "local author" or "autographed copy!" I want my roll of little gold stickers to promise: "My next book will be better!".

I think I lived up that promise and tried to make each book better in some way. The thing is that that process of trying to improve constantly butts up again always fearing it isn't good enough. It becomes a cycle that would leave any author's head spinning. It keeps a lot of us from finishing projects and others of us from ever feeling ready to submit what we do finish.

We all have them. Those unpolished gems and ideas that we go back to again and again but never quite get right. Well, yesterday I finished a proposal on the mother of all my works in progress that never seemed to actually make progress! It's rough. I need to redo the synopsis but there are four chapters that are better than anything I've done so far of a book I have wanted to get around to for years but never thought I could do justice.

Last night I went to sleep content (well, as content as a person muddling through a bout of sinusitis CAN be) and woke up with the realization that my main character had... well, I can't tell you what she did but I can tell you that it was the perfect place to end the proposal. It left the reader hanging AND it gave me the perfect place to pick up and begin again. THIS, I think, is the writer's Happy Place.

I am so glad I got there and hope you get there soon too. For you it may be writing THE END or organizing the outline or getting the poem just so but one thing I'd like to leave you with is that you will NEVER, EVER, EVER reach that much sought after spot unless you get out that project that is intimidating you, taunting you, tempting you and WRITE. If it hasn't let go of you, don't let go of it.

Even if nothing comes of it right away, who knows? It might be the project you were thinking of when you thought - next time I'll do better. Welcome to your Happy Place.