Life often gets so busy I often feel my insides careening in different directions, and I’m convinced my spleen ran away with the spoon. Or my pancreas.
The more I learn about the whole “mess” that is publishing in this digital age, the more complicated and frightening it appears.
To agent or not to agent. To e-book or not to e-book. To self publish or not to.
Add to this the whole world of self-promoting. Another new aspect for authors these days. Author visits, blog tours, blog posts, twitter tweets, and book signings. Do these leave enough time to actually write?
Don’t forget the multifarious rules we must learn by heart. Scrapping adverbs, using strong verbs, no passive speech, commas with discretion, dialogue and narrative in correct proportions; conflict, plot, scenes and point of view must all toe the proverbial line. And through all this rule following, let us not lose our own, unique voice as a writer.
And then there’s the barbarous competition itself. If we as writers don’t, quite literally, mind our p’s & q’s, our manuscript will be passed over for the next. If we don’t follow the rules and rhymes and rigmaroles–well the publishers won’t even kiss it good-bye. We can only hope they put it to some use and recycle.
So, back to the mayhem that muddles my mind. A few months ago it drove me mad. Discouraged. And wondering who the heck & what the heck & —
—why the heck am I still writing??
I’ll never manage to deal with all of this sanely.
I took a short break. I wielded a big sword and one by one lopped off the infiltrating tentacles of doom and demise. I forgive you if you say I’m in denial–not facing this reality information overload.
I left one door open. The one just for writing, where not even the mini-me editor hovering over my shoulder could fit through. And I wrote. Just wrote. To amuse myself, to relieve myself—and I rediscovered why I write.
There truly is a magic in words and in language. What I enjoy most when I write is how in the very act itself, ideas meld together in a way that prior brainstormings fail to create satisfactorily. Witticisms, details of foreshadowing, metaphors, poetic prose, or the spontaneous birth of a person, place or thing to fill that nagging gap. Or the forgotten little item in the cupboard that provides a crucial turning point. These are the real thrillers!
And there I go, once more unencumbered, my inner knots untangling, and I smile as my kidney and gallbladder sail to sea on a beautiful pea-geen boat.