Eventually, I did the thing.
If you’re working on your writing and don’t have a book deal yet, congratulations! You survived the frenzied “new release” publication season. The sales season can make writers feel pressured; it helps to remember that this is only the benevolence of the publishing industry doing what it does best.
If you worry that you aren’t writing fast enough, it might help to know this is a common worry that writers have, especially when we’re in the middle of a book sales season.
You might wonder if you’ll ever finish your book. You’re busy, and your writing time is limited. You feel like there’s always more writing you should be doing.
Friends ask you, “How’s your writing?” and you don’t know what to tell them. It’s taking you years. It’s hard to imagine that it’s even possible to finish it.
I know all of these worries because I feel them, too. My first book came out eight years ago. The years passed. My publisher warned me not to take too long to write another book, because “people would forget about me.” Gah! I wasn’t writing fast enough. Other writers had written three books in the time I’d written one.
Eventually, I did the thing. I wrote a novel, and I published it. And you know what? Now I’m pained because I should really be writing the first draft of my next book already. The clock is ticking.
People tend to suspect that writers who publish books have figured out how to crack the code, and that they aren’t plagued with doubts and resistance anymore.
This is not true. We just write anyway.
I usually try to keep these letters to you professional, because this is a writing school, not a personal blog. But over the next couple of weeks, during Story Intensive registration, I’m going to experiment, and open up and show you a bit more of myself. I want you to see what my writing life is really like. I’m calling this my “Diary of a Misfit Author” series.
All the authors I know are weirdos in their own special way (maybe you are, too). I love them for it! Thank goodness they’ve found a way to embrace their own interestingness and write alongside it. If there is any writing code to crack, that’s it — having the courage to be yourself, and to make the time to write what you want to read.
This is what the Story Intensive is here for. This program is full of some the most beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, creative, unique individual weirdos I know. Come on in — there’s room for you here.
Love from a fellow misfit,