It’s been over two months since I last posted. My brain is still mired in October, the month in which I had to scrap Touch for a third time and start it from the beginning. Again. In a week, it’ll be Christmas. Did I mention I’m still mentally stuck in October, the month of doom?
So: an explanation for my absence. It’s unlikely to be short.
I am on-line in various places because I write. And because I want to be accessible to people who read what I write. I am known to tweet, to post occasionally on Facebook, to blog. I reasonably feel that people who otherwise don’t know me seek me out because they like my writing, and this makes me happy.
But. (You knew there was a but, right?)
Writing is not an exact science. I’m from the butt-in-chair school of writing because that’s what works for me. Except when it doesn’t, and I write pages of book that don’t actually work; they almost work. I have written more words on Touch than I have on any Cast novel, and in the end, it’s been one circular train that has delayed every other word I need to write. This is not meant to be a plea for sympathy; it’s honestly meant to be an explanation. Writing is sometimes extremely difficult — but any job is sometimes extremely difficult.
When the writing has been disastrous from a subjective point of view (being mine), I feel incompetent. Since no book is ever entirely smooth, and since writers can be famously angsty while actually writing those books, a certain amount of despair and gloom is pretty much a daily occurrence. So, too, are the highs when a book comes together and everything sings.
When it’s been gloom and a sense of certain failure for a longer period, though, I begin to feel like a pretender. I don’t feel like a real writer. I am certain that I’m failing my book, and by extension, I’m failing my readers. I go back to the book. I revise. I rewrite. I give myself an ulcer trying to make it work. Three times in my writing career, I’ve nuked a book to ground zero and rebuilt it from page one. I’ve never done that more than once for any other book – before now. (My oldest son claims I’m not entirely objective about my own work, go figure.)
I don’t want this to be the doom-and-gloom corner of the universe, though. It’s just that I reach a point where I feel like I’m failing so badly I don’t really feel like I am the writer that people are coming to connect with. I don’t have news, or at any rate good news, to share. I start to avoid the on-line world – because no one wants to be a disappointment! – until I have beaten either myself or my book into shape.
So, apologies. I am still writing. I am still here.
And: I don’t have a cover for Battle that I can actually post here. I have a small picture, but not the larger one I usually post; this is in part because I have been hiding in my cave and pulling all my hair out and pretending it’s still October. Don’t ask about Christmas shopping; I’ll only cry. I hope to remedy the lack of cover soon, because yes, the book is due out any minute.
I do, however, have a sample chapter. Or in this case, a prologue and the first chapter.