New novel update:
I would not say things are going “well,” but I haven’t given up yet. The way in is sometimes slow, one toe wet for a week and still reluctant to dunk my head in. This amorphous new novel wants to be written, it’s just not giving me a good hint at how it wants to be approached.
Before I did the revision of DANI I had a small break and at that point I did write pages for what may or may not be the first chapter of the new novel. Then I had to put those pages aside, of course, because revising DANI took precedence, and now that I’ve returned to the new novel I can’t just throw myself back at the pages. I want to get the “big picture” down, I keep telling myself. So I’ve been writing a plot summary. A pitch, like I told myself I would. And I think the problem isn’t so much that I’m having trouble with the “picture,” it’s doubting the picture. It’s thinking, Should I be making this other picture instead? Should I redo my picture to be like these other pictures I saw announced on Publishers Marketplace? What picture will get me an agent, a book deal, a real career? And we all know the dangers of writing something we think—we hope—we assume—will be marketable. Because you cannot predict the market. If there was a way to remove all thoughts of the outside world from my head so I could write this book I’ve been wanting to write for years, I would.
I’ve been wanting to write this book for years—can’t forget that. That’s why I’m writing it!
Sometimes I think, for me, that it’s better to start off with the lowest of low expectations. Like, say I do write this book I’ve been wanting to write for years. I finally get it down on paper. It takes time. And yet I feel good. But then this happens: Other people read it, and they’re not too hopped up about it, and I don’t get an agent and I don’t get it published and I end up with a book in a box and nothing more. The question is, Can I live with writing this novel only to have it end up as another book in a box taking up space in my apartment?
I’m going to say yes. I can live with that.
I hope admitting that to myself helps me write it. No pressure or anything, but I was wanting a full first draft by June 1.