Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Delusions of Immortality

I don't delude myself often. I actually call myself a Realist, Sunny-Side-Up. What does that mean, precisely? I don't quite know, but it sounds better than a happy pessimist, so I'm going with it.

Anyway, back to delusions: I have this YA novel that I've set aside for about two years. I decided last week that I'd make all those final revisions over Christmas break and get it "ready" for sending out. It's time. My current WIP can wait, and indeed it has been, most patiently.

The problem? It's taking much longer than I thought possible. Twenty-four pages in three days. That's not going to break any records or even allow me to finish before the end of break. Here's the scary part: this time-heavy revision isn't because the writing sucks or the plot's shaky. (Well, I suppose that's for future readers to determine, but I do tend to be rather hard on myself, so I think I'd recognize that if it were the case.) I'm enjoying the process immensely, in fact, and but it seems that I'm spending far too much time staring into space and thinking. Drat that thinking, anyway!

The epiphany: As I contemplate word choice and scene tweaks, it suddenly occurred to me that 'real authors' -- you know, the ones who have published a bajillion books...or even just one -- are really no different than you or I. (Where's the connection between those two activities? I don't rightly know, but that's the randomness of my thoughts these days.)

From childhood, I've looked up to those who write as the demi-gods and goddesses who walk the Earth. They are other-worldly, deigning to spend time here because it amuses them to do so. My aspirations to write were always with the understanding that I was an outsider, didn't possess the right blood, and certainly didn't have the correct scholarly brow. I was ok with that. I knew I was an impostor, but the act of writing fulfilled me in a way nothing else had. I only wanted to craft stories; I didn't want to belong to any elite crew of immortals.

Spending time on the blogs of literary agents, editors, editor assistants, and yes, even authors, has given an insider's look that until now has always been pretty nigh unto impossible. It was a little earth-shaking to realize that, wow, we're all human. No immortals walk among us.

So, right now, I'm staring out the bay window into a winter wonderland. (No wonder it's hard to concentrate on revisions.) And I'm thinking: I'm thankful for all my blogging buddies who have committed to the long open road of writing, the one with pot holes and rain and dead ends, the one with brilliant bursts of sunlight and shimmering rainbows and entertaining detours. Here's to the determination, the loneliness, the camaraderie, the tenacity. Here's to you.


Anthony said...

Oh man I am getting wistful. Stop that!


Have a Merry Christmas to you and your own.

Alex Moore said...

Merry Christmas to you & yours. And peace. Lots of peace :)