Is it bad to say that this picture is exactly how writing novels makes me feel? Well, books in general, truly. I’ve written books and novels that were not my own (meaning, ghostwritten, which I believe I’ve talked about before as being a bit like a surrogate mom — all blood and money, and nothing to hold at the end of all that labor), but I swear that writing my own long things is SO much more difficult.
I know there are lots of authors who thrive on novels. They love them. They even go so far as to find them easier than short fiction. “Short stories are so hard!” they lament, in the exact same tone of voice that I use when I whine about novel-writing. And, yet, it’s like we can’t resist the thing that we find so difficult. What draws us, I wonder, to this thing that we supposedly hate? I may be a masochist, but it only goes so far. After all, I’m not one to touch a hot stove (at least not more than once, and not on purpose), so why must I keep dragging myself through the burning barnyard that is novel writing? I wish I knew.
If put under duress and forced to take a guess, I’d say it’s the challenge. The “I can fucking do this, damn it,” which is a mentality that’s earned me almost everything I’ve ever gotten in live, both good and bad. (And, by the way, I discovered there are some things I just can not do, not even with that ram-headed, Aries mentality. Skateboarding, for example. Playing the guitar. Dunking a basketball. Making it through more than the very first chapter of the Holy Bible. God knows — I’m sure he/she/it/nebulous ball of gasses knows, that I’ve tried. But I keep getting stuck in all the Begats…)
Still, novel writing is not a luxury item on my list. And so, I perservere. Again and again. Despite the scraped knees. The broken nails. The deflated ego. The boredom.
Today, after a solid month of fucking around researching and planning, I got the first scene of the new novel down. It’s not much, it might not seem like much at all, actually, but I think the first few scenes are always the hardest, so I’m feeling pretty damn good. It’s off to my reader, and I’m hoping she tears the holy hell out of it. More to come, including some excerpts, as I keep plugging away, trying to tame this new beast. (Wow, I am mixing my metaphors like a mo-fo today. Jeez. Kill me now).
I’m working on three books total while I’m here, and the planning stage is mostly complete for all three, and I’ll begin actually doing the writing now. You can keep track of progress, if you desire, up above, under the current tab. There’s not much yet, of course, being that it’s day one. But just wait… I promise!
That’s all for now. I have three stories on the docket to edit and submit, another two that I’d like to finish the drafts of, and about two dozen emails in my inbox, just awaiting my dancing fingers. And, yet, if that first scene was the only thing I’d accomplished all day, I’d still feel pretty damn good.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“Writing a novel is like making love, but it’s also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it’s like making love while having a tooth pulled.” ~Dean Kootz