Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WIP Wednesday : Chasing the Dragon


Now that I'm cruising along on my wip, gunning for 20K by Thursday, I'm remembering what I love about writing. It's like a kind of high, and I won't deny I have an addictive personality. I float above the rest of the world, plotting and speaking in the voices of imaginary people, and typing late at night until my eyes are red. I'm like a junkie for the laptop, and every click on the Word Count fuels my high.

After the torment of this last round of purgatory in Query Hell and the endless revising and reworking, after the acceptance that a novel I spent the better part of a year on may not be THE ONE, my WIP progress is what reminds me why I can't keep from writing. Maybe I'm not good enough to be published, now or ever. But if I quit writing now, I'll never know. And I'll stop getting that rush, feeling that power, that, dare I say it, god-like omnipotence that comes from unleashing a character or a story you love into the world, or, failing that, at least bring them to life in the minds of a handful of people.

Athena's got nothing on my current heroine; she sprang into creation fully formed and cut her way out of my head and onto the page. She's convinced me to learn about new ways of life and cultures that are totally unlike my own. Though I know nothing about playing the violin, she is an expert at it. She faces adversity with her head held high, and isn't afraid to take on new challenges. She's also hot-headed, naive, and self-centered. She thinks the world revolves around her, and you know what, she's right.

My world does revolve around her right now. Together we're experiencing danger, fear, prejudice, sexual tension, first love, and the exhilaration of stardom as if we are the same person. In fact, I keep having to tell her I'm the boss and she's not. No, you can't kiss that boy right now, you have to wait until it moves the plot forward. Argh, no, you can't see ghosts. Wait, that might be really cool, actually. Okay, you can see ghosts.

More importantly, she distracts me from lamenting over the last story that made me feel this way. The one that has been edited within an inch of its life and still needs an major overhaul before I send it on one last ride on the query-go-round. Don't get me wrong, there's a thrill in seeing partial requests in my inbox, too, but so far, the pay-off has just not made the build-up worth it, if you know what I mean. And I think you do. I have to believe that practice makes perfect. Maybe it's just the writing endorphins talking, but I have confidence in my work, and I think maybe, just maybe, this story is THE ONE.

And maybe someday I'll have time to give the last one a major overhaul, or the one I wrote before that one, or the one I wrote before that one. And I'll have time to write new stories, bring new characters to life, their worlds crossing over into ours. But I know this right now; it doesn't matter how many stories I have to write, chasing the high that this one might be THE ONE. I'll keep doing it as long as it takes. Maybe it's because I'm an addict. I can't help myself. I want to feel the rush that writing-- even writing a mediocre book-- gives me, the kind of rush that even tops reading a favorite book for the first time.

So that's why I keep writing, more than anything. Everything else, rejection, publication, is just a side-effect.

4 comments:

Eric said...

Sounds like you're doing everything right, with the right attitude. Keep up the writing, and soon enough you'll be able to subject the rest of us to the glory that is your written word. Oh, and you are the winner of my contest so let me know which (if any) prize you want :)

Eric said...

Doh, just realized you don't have a way to contact me. Send me an email to estallsworth@comcast.net. :)

Icy Roses said...

That is an excellent way to look at it. Keep writing, above all else! :-)

Abby said...

Glad you can lose yourself again in a new story. All that rewriting and revising just starts to wear on you after a while. Sounds like you're making really good progress too.

Hang in there! You'll make it! :)