I love how arrogant I was in my last post – “I know how to write” – ha ha. I had my whole brain ripped apart and mashed back together over that week, and it was amazing. The greatest part of all was that I now know what I was doing wrong, and I know how to do better. And some of the feedback I got finally convinced me that maybe I can do this, that I might be on the right track, and it’s worth all this time, money, effort and heartache to just get this novel done and submitted.
Fiona signed my book at the end of the class, and one of the things she said was “care less”. It’s hard, because by nature I am the type of person who cares intensely about these sorts of things, but it’s so right… and I’m practicing. There are so many other things in my life that are wonderful, I need to care a little more about them and a little less about writing, as counter-intuitive as it seems. Because in the end, caring too much just spooks me out of my best writing.
So now I’m deep in research and all about the almighty daily and weekly word counts. I think one of the problems with things like NaNoWriMo is that they force unrealistic word counts from (mostly) absolute beginners, with a very high failure rate and not a good plan for sustainability. There are so many other things that I have to do for my writing. I need to send emails, track down obscure library books, stalk important people’s instagrams, figure out what else is being written and published right now, read widely but also in my niche, figure out plot/structural questions… all of these things will and do well and truly take up the extra days that I’m not tackling my word count.
There is so much to do, the 24/7-ness of this hustle is kind of shocking me. I’m planning to potentially go to Tasmania next month for some research, if I can swing it, and hopefully King Island in January with Nathan. I’m going to a conference in October, and potentially another one in August. I’m feeling like all areas of my life need to step up in a million ways, which brings me to my next point…
I’m afraid that there are going to be some changes going down at this blog. Either the whole thing is going to be saved to my hard drive and scrubbed from the internet, or I’m going to password protect the whole thing. It’s unfortunate, but it’s under good advice, and it’s about time. It does make me feel sad to be shuttering my most authentic self for something more of an ‘author platform’, but it’s necessary for the future, and I got a little crash course on how much publishers are looking for these sorts of things to be already established even before the first contract is signed. I’ll be figuring this all out in the coming weeks, but it looks like I’ll be starting a more writing specific blog. Expect photos of travel, maybe recipes, photos of the garden, and of course, the odd tales of P+R+C+P, but my most personal meanderings and neuroses will not be reappearing. Got to be professional! Or at least appear professional, because we all know that even if I was the next JK Rowling, I’d still be the same goober as always.
So – new chapters. New life. New goals. New plans. New everything. It’s bittersweet, but if everything works out the way I hope it does, it will be the stuff of dreams.