The novella was easy. The first book was kinda hard to get rolling but now I look back on that one with the rosy glow of forgetfulness.
This second book…I thought it would be easy. I’d already done the hard part. The first chapter was written. I had the outline. I mean, you just write it at that point, right?
When I’ve heard or read other writers talk about struggling, I’ve been sorta Grumpy Cat/”McKayla Maroney is not impressed” about it. And you should be too. Even here. They are lucky to do this. And I KNOW how lucky I am.
“Just write it” is probably true if you can ignore all the doubts and the voice that starts out quietly but gets louder as you go, the one that says the first one’s a fluke and one that shall not be repeated.
Oh, man…that’s not just me, is it?
The easiest way to ignore it for me? Go fast. LIke Ricky Bobby, I wanna go fast. So all weekend I was Wile E. Coyote chasing a fast Road Runner word count. Monday I ran out of road. And did a whistling free fall to splat. My day job was out of control and I was feeling pressed on all sides.
So then I had that feeling, the one that I vaguely recall from the first time around. I was pretty sure I was going to be a failure and should really look harder at alternate careers. Something like professional dog petter or Diet Coke connoisseur. And I searched for Hee Haw videos. Don’t judge. I was young (then). I watched what my parents did.
And I felt better. I think it was the dog. I only vaguely recalled the song. I had forgotten the corny jokes and the “not impressed” dog. It was like the universe (not really) saying “Bloodhounds shall lead the way.” And my book has one of those. My plan was to scrap everything, 20,000 words or so, and start over. Because…I was high on Hee Haw fumes.
It’s not every day you read a blog post with a phrase like that, is it?
Then I took a breath of fresh air. Re-read my new outline and the second chapter and decided…it’s not the worst thing ever written. I’m half way through what I’d come up with and not all is lost. I’m so happy something stopped me when I was frantically searching for my Firebird keys (AKA Delete). No? Don’t know that one? John Cusack? Jeremy Piven? Say Anything?
I think the moral to this story is…hug a writer today. His or her brainium is probably a wild place.