Monday, November 05, 2007
It is Finished.
Sometime just before 7pm I sent The Exorsistah to my developmental editor. I can honestly say that I have never struggled so hard, or felt so completely lost during the writing of a book.
Maybe some of you will write and say, "You feel that way every time. I can show you transcripts of our chats." But you'd have to show me, because it always feels like this was the worse one ever.
Some of you have read my rough drafts, and you know they are unapologetically rough. It's in writing like a nut job that I find the startling and surprising. I have to allow myself to go wherever I want to go. Sometimes I have to see how a scene feels, even if I will likely scrap it. In my drafts a whole lotta scrapping goes on.
I couldn't grasp this story though. It slipped out of my hands whenever I tried to hold it. Characters walked around confused, wondering what to do, and I couldn't tell them. I wished I could. I'm not joking when I say I have no skill. I'm a cheap story teller that has found myself in a world that I'm certain I don't belong in.
I feel awful.
There's like this tremendous crash, and a mild hysteria that takes hours to dissipate. Maybe days. I think, "This one will ruin me." At some point tonight I will cry my eyes out. I may be crying right now. I won't say.
I never want to disappoint a reader. Books aren't cheap, even if I say I'm a cheap storyteller. I want people to have an experience. I fail every single time. And yet, here I am doing the thing I've always dreamed of. What I couldn't have anticipated in my dreamy longings was this wound. This sense that I can't say what is really inside. That grappling with the ineffable. I never want to do it again. But I do.
I see why writers are often alcoholics.
Then again, maybe someone can offer me some cheese with this whine. Tell me to go to sleep since I've only had two hours worth in 48 hours or so. Say, take a hot bath. Dream of the pain medicine you don't have to halt your physical aches. Go to bed early, Mair. And pray that you'll clean it up in the copy editing phase.
Or that your readers are merciful.
You know what I just thought of. Jesus. Remember when he was dying, and that thing he said. I'll give you a hint. I named the blog post that. He said, "It is finished." He may have been crucified, but He didn't say, "I am finished." That'd be my spin tonight. I think it's a grace for Him to drop that bit of hope in me. I'm still here.
I'm still here.
We'll see what tomorrow holds.
Thanks for listening.