Rachelle Gardner, literary agent and blogger at Rants and Rambles wrote today about facing one's fears in the publication process. At this point, I am yet unpublished and not actively seeking representation by an agent until I have a complete manuscript that I'm confident in (ie, one that's been revised at least once and reviewed by my multiple editor friends). I follow several author and agent blogs to educate myself on the process, but I imagine it's one of those "learn by doing" tasks.
That said, I do have some fears about the writing process on the road to publication. I like Rachelle's advice: Feel your fear and do it anyway. She didn't say conquer your fear before doing it. Accept or validate the feelings. I don't need to be paralyzed by fear, but neither do I have to somehow overcome the feelings so I'm not afraid before I can make a move.
Last Friday, the organization I work for gave us the day off. I had not preplanned anything for Friday, but that morning I woke up determined to try to write a little. It was one of those deliciously drizzly days where I live--perfect for awakening creativity. I prayed, sorta half-heartedly, yet still sincerely, that God would help me plunk out a couple of pages at least. I was afraid to ask for more because I didn't want to stress myself out on a vacation day trying to make myself write. That usually ends very badly, resulting in Mr Amazing Dude coaxing me out of my writer's funk with chic flicks or cheezy 70s comedies and ice cream. Lots of ice cream.
Around nine am, I positioned myself on the sofa, near a window, along with my laptop, chocolate, water and Hadassah, our adorable, but slightly nefarious cat. She left me fifteen minutes later (for lack of attention) to curl up on top of our TV (yeah, we've got a 1996 boxy 20 inch--deeper than today's plasma screens that a preying mantis can barely balance on). Fueled by rain, chocolate, and more water, I started in on the WIP capturing my attention right now: After Her Death. Uncertain that anything would form on the page (er, screen), I hemmed and hawed, equally terrorized by stinky writing and my perfectionist streak.
And then, I typed a word. And then another. Thus, word flow began. Such a glorious feeling. I love the writer's high (which we must have for the much more common writer lows are wretched). I'm sure Mr Amazing Dude must have called a couple of times; Hadassah probably rolled around on the floor batting one of her baby tennis balls crying for me to play with her; the drizzle outside might have become a thunderstorm plus a tornado; no doubt, ever the Israelis and Palestinians signed a peace treaty. I wouldn't have known. I was in the zone. My own Wordstorm.
Mr Amazing Dude came home, seeing me pretty much in the same spot as he left me. He took care of dinner. I did take a break long enough to eat and watch Arranged with him. (Eclectic, interesting, Indy comedy about two religiously observant women, one Jewish, the other Muslim, who become friends in New York. Highly recommended!) But the storyline of the movie just fed into my blazing writing streak. My husband remarked a couple of times how much fun he had watching me zingy and hyped on creating. It was after 10, but I couldn't resist returning to the laptop. Let it come.
I went to bed after midnight, my characters still interacting in my head. Tossing and turning, I dragged myself back out to the laptop around 8:30 Saturday morning for a reprise. It lasted until noon when my storyline abruptly dried up. Nothing more would come. Mr Amazing Dude found me flopped over my laptop, a rag doll minus her stuffing.
It didn't matter. I had just written 20 pages (roughly 10,000 words) in 28 hours. It might be deleted later; it'll definitely need editing. But I did it.
Only 45,000 more words to go. ;-) I hope I have another holiday coming up.