Monday, February 28, 2011

Joy, yes, Writing, not so Much.

Actual sign at local gas station - the one on my computer should read "Screen is blank, because writer is not bright"

Have felt quasi queasy all day and it's time to admit why - no, not the flu, or food poisoning or even just an old fashioned belly ache. I am sick about the book I am trying to write.
Ever happen to you?
Ever doubt every scene... every sentence... every syllable? That's where I'm at. I don't know that I can do this anymore. Not writing in general. Writing in specific. That is to say, this book. Just don't know if I can do this book.

You know that game people play - If I won the lottery? Well, if I won (which would be doubly amazing because I don't PLAY it) but if I won, I'd stop writing the books I am paid to write and start writing the books I was born to write.

Makes me a little sad to see that written out, but it's true. It stays.

Years ago there was a lot of over lap and it is one of the great blessings in my life, for which I will be forever grateful, that I have had the opportunity time and again to write books that formed in my being and poured out from my heart (with a lot of help from my brain and a WHOLE LOT OF AMAZING EDITORS). Characters that stay with me today like old friends, quote worthy phrases, settings that are more real to me then places on the globe I only know through photographs and from 7th grade social studies class. I miss those people, those places, those phrases.

Now I sit at my computer for hours with my stomach in knots and my shoulders slumped, feeling beat up and defeated. For the record, I have felt this way about other books, some of which turned out pretty good. It's just that the longer I write, the more time it takes for me to find the pulse of the story. The more times I can't seem to get it right the less hope I can muster that I can ever get it right.

That's where I am tonight. Tomorrow I will get up and flip a couple of scenes around (duh, the cute meet adds poignancy to the dad tucking his kids in alone and suddenly the characters are real and their conflict is clear) and try again to get it right. That's what writers do.

We struggle to get the words right. We wrestle our inner doubts to the ground (then let them back up, like too small fish tossed back into the sea to do battle with another day). We write.

At least I hope this writer will.