Taking a moment to stop, breathe, and applaud myself. Granted I still have twenty-one more chapters left in the grammar check, but I told myself that once I reached chapter thirty I would celebrate. The milestone means I have less than more to do and I’ve conquered the negative tapes that often run in my thoughts, at least for the moment.
Back in April, when I started this process of the “final” grammar check, hoping to finish by May or June, something my developmental editor had said bugged me. I have a problem with telling not showing. Someone else once made a similar comment, except they said I reported my story, not wrote it. I stopped and went back through book. Sure enough, I found my telling and rewrote some chunks. Some of the reworked stuff I wish I had included in the first draft all though years ago. They just make the story make much more sense, especially in the end.
In July I finished the last and final rewrite. It made me swear that I wasn’t going to ever do this infinite editing process ever again. When I focus, I can do two or three chapters a day on the grammar check, so technically I should have only taken ten days to reach chapter thirty. Ironically, it’s been thirty-three. Some of the delay has been work, another part has been me dragging my feet, and the last piece me searching for perfection that doesn’t exist.
Simplereminders.com has the best explaination for why I tie myself up so easily in a quote by Deepak Chopra:
Most of the time, I’m a relaxed person, but when it comes to this series, or anything else important in my life including my own existence, I’m capable of “What ifing” myself to death when things go wrong. In fact, that tendency inspired the tagline of the series.
I’m writing for myself first and anything that happens as a result of my writing is good fortune or a chance to learn, nothing more. The practical notion is often hard to swallow for an emotional person who wants to be known for their writing. Not famous, but recognized enough that I can make a decent living just by writing. I’m also torn about the practicality of doing this (time and money investment) and the power I feel every time I just sit back and let my imagination go.
It’s hard, if a not bit painful, remaining the voice in the crowd who no one notices. Reminds me of school when I was teased for being the kid with glasses who answered a lot of teacher’s question, but wasn’t good enough to fit in with the “cool” kids. Sure, I handled the situation with grace that unbeknownst to me until years later inspired people, but that didn’t make the pain any less.
Spirit‘s lukewarm reception hit this nerve hard. The emotional aftermath has been messing me with a lot. So much so that I’ve been thinking, “If Legend isn’t released, it can’t fail right?” Well, the exact opposite is true. If it isn’t released, it can’t succeed either. It’s more than that, though. I’m probably closer to Legend than any other in the series because of the tough time the story helped me get through. My heart isn’t sure what is going to do if the book gets thrown into “just another story without a sexy body on the cover by an unknown author” pile.
My head is being a lot more practical. Since it’s only my second, it knows there is a good possibility Legend will find itself building another stepping stone in my path to recognition. I’m also very aware of the mistakes I made with Spirit. Looking past them, though, I know and believe it’s a story worth reading. Just as Legend will be.