Yes, I’m finishing my fourth draft. I just have a few things to add - the “simulations”, but apart from that - I just need to re-read these 116,000 something words, and I’m set. Well, set for another round of readers to give me feedback. This time it will include my sister, and a friend of mine who doesn’t live here, but that I trust very much. I’m really excited to hear what they have to say, but then again -and as always- terrified too.
What do I do after? Redraft. Then? More readers? Then? Redraft? Then?
It would be so great if I could just send an agent my application (without a useless synopsis and chapter breakdown) with a query letter that grabs their attention and tadaaaa! I don’t know what to do. It’s like the more you brood your work, the more you feel like it ain’t ready to see the world. But I think it should be.
Sometimes I feel like it would be wonderful for people to read it, and experience the story the way I did - and sometimes I feel like it’s the worst thing ever written in the history of worst things ever written. But being a writer is about being brave. It’s about letting things go.
I wish more people understood that.
At least, I wish I did.
(if I can consider myself a writer)
PS: Happy Easter, my inexistent audience, I have already stuffed my stomach with so much chocolate I think I’m set for dinner.
PS2: I lied. I just baked brownies and ate half the dough.
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do is share my work. I don’t know why, I just can’t.A Stranger’s Tales
Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.Greg Anderson
Well, that’s something I wouldn’t have seen coming in a million years. And if a week ago someone told me that my first reader would be my father, I would laugh at the thought. Why? Because I consider my father to be my biggest critic - the person whose criticism and comments will affect me more than anyone else’s (no favoritism, I swear). I don’t know why though, I suppose I just value his opinions very highly.
He’s been poking me for months to read it, and I always refused. I think that’s mainly because I was so afraid he wouldn’t like it and because of that, I would never muster the energy and the willpower to write again. Maybe I’d give up altogether. Because if he doesn’t like it - why would anyone else?
I decided to give it to him last sunday (as my sister is in her study period, and doesn’t have time to read - besides, I really needed feedback). By the end of one hour, he had read 6/40 chapters. On the second day he was almost halfway through. Then, on a 5-hour plane back home from a business trip, he said “I devoured the last half.” That choice of word particularly struck me.
HE LIKED IT.
So I know there is hope.
Maybe he was just being a father, and as a father does, makes those little white lies to not upset me. But either way, his comments were great, and I’m currently redrafting. It’s fun, and I love writing.
I realized today (and yesterday, and the day before, and all those times I gave up wondering about others and focused on me) that it doesn’t matter if no one else likes this story, because at the end of the day, it is mine. And I wrote it for me. And a part of me knows that if my parents are not ashamed of my work, then I know I have already succeeded.
Even if it’s the worst thing ever written.
Good god. I thought that finishing my book was my greatest achievement. Perhaps it is, but it doesn’t feel like it anymore. My sister has been reading this last draft….for about a month now. Is it really THAT bad? I keep thinking to myself. She’s in her first master’s year of medicine, so she has had a lot of work, but so much work that reading a book takes more than a month? I don’t know. Maybe I’m being paranoid, maybe not. But the lingering time she is taking is stressing me over and over. More and more, with increasing intensity.
….Maybe I should never write again. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever written. How could I have given it to her to read? She’ll think I’m the worst writer in the world and will think I’m so pathetic. Maybe she’s taking all this time to break the news to me….
Oh yeah, those keep on coming. Honestly, being a writer (well, if anyone who writes is a writer that is…) is making me bipolar. Like sometimes I wonder:
“What if this becomes a best seller?”
Then the more down-to-earth, realistic side of me takes over and thinks:
“What? this piece of crap? Well aren’t you an optimistic little fool.”
I suppose it’s nice to dream, but like my mother says (and it’s probably one of those french expressions that can’t be translated into english, but…) "With a lot of ifs, you put Paris in a bottle." Sometimes, I don’t even think I know what that means, but I do know what she means when she is saying it to me.
One step at a time.
I know she’s right, but I guess it’s just hard to wait. Hard to cope with the uncertainty and dread that my sister -a part of me- will not like what I spent hours of my time bleeding my fingertips on. And then I stop to think about how stupid I am. Whenever I wonder what if no one likes this story? I am one step further from my initial drive. My initial need to write this story. I keep having to remind myself that it doesn’t matter if no one likes this story, it doesn’t matter if my sister thinks I’m a pathetic little writer wannabe with big dreams and hopes. Because at the end of the day, I wrote this story for only one reason.
I wrote it for me.
It’s funny how I’m writing this with no particular audience at all. There might be someone out there, a wandering soul, a lost sheep, someone who -by some kind of insane chance- stumbled upon this lame blog of mine. A blog that has nothing. A blog without cat videos. A dead-end on the internet, really. And yet, here I am, still typing one word after the other just because I like the sound the keys make as my fingers are pressing against them. I guess I’m a bit weird, but maybe this blog will help tame my insanity.
If I stick to it.