I belong to a facebook group of fabulous authors. We post about the ups and downs of publishing and ask each other for advice as we try to forge our way through the ever-changing jungle of publishing. On Monday, one author posted this upbeat status:
“Passed the halfway mark in the new book. Always a great sense, to have the story reach cruising altitude. The action can really enjoin now, the stakes are clear, characters are met and revealed, the secrets hover unexplained, tension cranks… The writing goes so much more smoothly, it seems, after the table is set.”
I replied: “Grrr. I’m at 62% of this manuscript that is due in 5 weeks, and I’m hating life.”
His reply: “My advice? Remember the days when no one was waiting for your books. Hate that life. Go get ’em.”
BOOM. Epiphany time for me. Was it really all about my attitude?
I’ve been struggling with my current book. Getting the words on paper the last few weeks has been torture; I’ve been going crazy trying to hit my realistic word counts. I’ve had days where I refused to open my document, and other days where I’ve been nauseous at the thought of plotting my ending. I firmly believe I gave myself shingles last month stressing about the difficulty of this book and my looming deadline.
I am Negative Nelly. AKA Pessy Mystic.
I have the best job in the world. I get to make stuff up and people pay money for it. I get to work from home and be there when my kids get home from school. People would kill for my job. Why am I not reveling in my good fortune? Where the heck did my love of story go?
I’ve been utterly focused on the negative with my writing. It’s time for a serious attitude shift. So here goes:
I can’t wait to see how my hero is going to drive my heroine to the brink of despair before emotionally rescuing her. I can’t wait to see what kind of twisted s*%t my villain is going to force on the people who look up to him. I can’t wait to see how the teenager is going to surprise everyone with her bravery. (believe and repeat)
I guess you could call it my New Year’s Resolution. I never make them, but I’m overdue for this attitude change.
Every writer gets epiphanies. They come from reading, attending workshops, or just talking to other writers. What has been a “hit you over the head moment?”