Greetings one and all!
I’ve been AWOL online lately, first due to the mad rush of finishing edits to The Piper’s Price (the book is now with the editor!) then the mad rush of getting my seventh annual murder mystery party invitations out, and finally with the sweet slowness of camping on Patos Island, relaxing beyond the reach of cell reception (as all paradises are.)
Editing was an arduous ordeal, and I’m still not entirely sure why. The Piper’s Price was a better book than any I’d written so far, and everyone was quick to assure me it not only met the standard I set with The Neverland Wars, but exceeded it. (I have you many bloggers and readers to thank for that… I learned so much from the feedback I got on the first.) Still, there was this sneaking suspicion that I could have done better, that with every read through I could catch something more that I ought to change and improve upon…
Writing is a bad artform for the perfectionist.
Despite a suffocating sense of self-doubt that wanted to close in, I found great encouragement from Kat Robichaud’s “The Elephant Song” the lyrics of which seemed to have many strange and specific parallels with what I was emotionally going through trying to prepare a second book.
It’s seven sorry years I’m never getting back
So far along and yet so far off track
I self-published my first book and printed up a few hundred copies in high school seven years ago, and I’ve been working hard at my dream of being a writer ever since. In some ways I can’t believe how much I’ve succeeded, and in other ways I feel really destabilized by what I’ve earned, and I have a lot of doubts about what I’m producing, and whether or not I’m doing justice to the potential so many other great artists have inspired in me.
I hate the genius after the fact
It’s never better in the second act
The funny thing is, for as often as I doubt myself, I also swing back and think I’m even more amazing than I am (a convenient habit I picked up while querying… If you think you’re a Writing God, no matter how absurd that belief is, you will continue to send the letters no matter how many rejections you get…) So The Neverland Wars simultaneously feels like the sum product of my genius and this silly little first novel that I really want to exceed in the second book.
Is there anybody listening or am I truly talking to myself?
Isn’t everybody wishing they could be somebody better than themselves?
I’m trying to keep up with my social media and sometimes as I write these blog posts (and sometimes when I don’t) I wonder who is listening (aside from you lovely regulars, you know who you are) or if I even need anyone to listen in order to make blogging a cathartic experience for me. I’m trying to keep in mind that my self-doubt should be mitigated but not eradicated, and then used as a tool and motivation for self-improvement. I’m certain everyone of any achievement experiences this same feeling.
Now here I am, chained by your applause
I’ll never get, I’ll never get, never enough of
My mind moves quickly from story to story and there are a lot of other things I want to be writing right now, including a sci-fi side project that is getting lost in the far more pressing issue of The Neverland Wars series. I’m trying to balance work (especially the endless torrent of social media obligations) and leisure, but it’s so hard to find the right lines to draw when it feels like every minute I spend working has a direct impact on how well my book does.
And here we are, what a sorry lot
Wanting more than what we’ve got
Never living in the present, always off
I’ve been reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and trying to be more mindful. Taking time to enjoy what I’ve managed here is fun, when I let myself. The present is a good place, and I can’t lose sight of that just because the hard work of the past is trying to overshadow it and the shine of the future seems even brighter. But I’m making it work.
I highly recommend going and listening to Kat Robichaud’s “The Elephant Song.” It’s a beautiful sort of punk-cabaret melody with some very nice lyrics and instrumentation.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get a blog up about Patos Island soon, although I’m taking off for Portland this weekend am not sure how life is going to shake out this next week down there, or with the murder mystery party the following weekend… but rest assured The Piper’s Price is in the editor’s hands and I gave it my all to get it ready for her. I’m looking forward to book release already.