Ever heard the saying, “You can’t get anywhere standing still”? How ’bout, “Don’t think, just do”? Both pop into my head every time I open my latest WIP and look at the word count. Yikes!! A snail with a broken number 2 pencil could eek out more words than I do some days. It never fails, every Christmas holiday is like kryptonite to me. Instead of stroking out dialogue on the laptop, I fixate on things I planned but didn’t do the last eleven months and obsess over a “master plan” for the coming year. It’s tedious thinking and leaves my brain feeling like a deep-fried twinkie cake. (Yuck! Sorry, but food always finds a way into my work.) Writing, at times, has just been pure, slow labor–without the love.
But as I follow other authors(some new, many well established), I’ve been impressed and inspired. I don’t think there exists any group more supportive and more tenacious than fiction writers (especially romance writers; spend some time on Twitter, and you’ll see exactly what I mean). They know the ups and downs, the joys and pains of trying to plaster our imaginations onto blank pages with enough “fire” that a reader can’t wait to turn the page. They also know the angst of slogging through WIPs when so many other things fight for our attention–like, oh yeah, the fate of our democracy!
So with the help of fellow scribes, I’ve realized a simple remedy : Sometimes you have to look back at what you did accomplish to believe what you will accomplish. Every author started at zero to get to where they are now–whether they’ve written their first or thirty-first novel. I never thought I would’ve self-published two books, a short story, and a vignette when I started writing seven years ago. But anything … no … everything is possible. In the New Year, blank pages will get filled and WIPs will get whipped–into shape(ugh, the agony of editing) ’cause that’s just the way it is.
To authors(beginners and pros), pens up! To readers and reviewers, thank you. To all, happy holidays and all the best.