Here’s the thing. I know I’m a good writer. I know I’m a good storyteller of a certain kind of tale. That is, you won’t find me weaving tales of corporate espionage or pounding out one of those medical thrillers where people are given drugs that make them secretly turn into monkeys just to satisfy the super-rich of China by supplying them with extra-smart simian pets. I tell bildungsromans, hero’s journey type things and I seem to tell them well.
For the longest time I wanted nothing more than to sell one of my stories and see it become a Real
Boy Book. Then for awhile I decided I’d try my hand at writing commercial romance. The plan was to write a series of best-selling things so that I’d make some money. Even though that was never the kind of story I cared to tell. I have romance in my other things but I can’t do the romance-only type of story that I’ve enjoyed in the hands of other writers. So I’m here writing a book that I’m sure is very interesting and very good and has elements of so many good things that I’m enjoying the taste of it very much as I knock it out day by day.
It is such hard work, though. There are so many things that have to happen to take things from the Point A I have already nicely laid out all the way to the Point Zed that sits dimly shrouded in fog. And a days work will pretty much get me from Point B.3 to about Point B.5 if we’re lucky.
And then there’s the issue of what I do with it afterword. I’ve got a few friends in different stages of manuscript selling and I don’t know a single one of those stages that isn’t frought with peril.
I am beginning to think that the only truly HAPPY moments a writer has are the various days behind the ink when things go well in the telling. After that I can’t think of a single time in the life of a writer’s work where there is a feeling of ease. Once it’s finished it has to be submitted. If you don’t have an agent, the finding of an agent is something to try your soul. If you do have an agent and a publisher there’s all the anxiety of what they want to carve out and add back in to the thing you’ve slaved over. If you do get an agent after shopping the manuscript then you worry about whether the agent can sell it and what the house will do to it after it’s sold. If I were feeling more ambitious I’d flowchart the process of an author’s grief.
So I’m being a very craven person as I sit here thinking that I want to finish my book because I want to see my stories being enjoyed by other people. But then again, maybe I don’t want to deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.