So this is my third attempt at starting a blog and keeping it going.
I am working on my second novel. My first, having been rejected by every agent in New York and all those who receive submissions via email in London, lies wrapped in brown paper in a shoebox in the bedroom closet. I expect it will live out the rest of my days in that shoebox. I love that novel. Not because it was my first complete work (because it isn’t if you count the fourteen or so novellas I wrote as a teenager) but because those characters lived with me for over two years. Being a writer is heartbreaking work. Like being a parent. A much used analogy I know but the truest. I have had to let those characters go to wherever imagined people go. I imagine it’s a place of magical moonscapes and tantalizing storylines.
On bad days when I wrestle with my own dark thoughts (‘I am not clever enough to stitch together this ambitious plot’ or ‘you’re no writer, go clean the oven!’) I remind myself that I am where I am supposed to be. I am still learning. I am an apprentice immersed in the creative process. I put in the work and hours and take pride in my work because of the investment of self that has gone into it. A complete (unpublished) manuscript or two (or ten) is nothing to scoff at. How many people have what it takes to keep their butt on the chair long enough to write a book with fully realized characters and a tight plot?
My work is an offering. And as with all offerings sometimes it is appreciated and well-received, sometimes it is left out in the sun or torn apart by wild dogs.
How do you see your work? How do you feel about it?