Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Off the wagon
About a week ago, Nathan and I had a date at the Alamo Drafthouse. We went to see Inception for the second time, and we basically just took a lovely weekday night out (which we rarely do), so it was wonderful.
I was washing my hands in the bathroom when another girl gave me an unusual look. She said, "SCBWI?" To which I said, "Yeeeahh" in slow recognition. (SCBWI = Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, an amazing group that has a really active local chapter.)
I told her I fell off the wagon. I told her I needed to come back to a meeting. If a stranger had been listening, s/he might have thought I was talking about AA.
Is it fair to compare writing to sobriety? Writing is so much easier. I kid. Writing isn't easy. And I've really, really been chasing the dragon, you guys. OK, I'll stop. Besides, I don't even know what that means.
Why have I stopped writing? After going through the whole vicious cycle of:
having critique partner(s) read it
making it perfect
sending queries to agents
getting requests for partials
getting requests for the full manuscript
checking the mail daily
getting kind rejections
posting kind rejections on the wall
(rinse and repeat from first step)
returning to the ms that I started six years ago and thought I finished like three times, and not knowing what else to do to address the problems.
After all that, after reaching a stalemate with my first novel, why can't I just move on to another work-in-progress? Why can't I get going? I have friends who are writers who are committed, who meet weekly to write or critique work. I have friends who have agents, book deals, the good stuff. I even believe that I can join them, you guys. I know my writing is good enough! But I don't make time to work on writing at home, and I don't go out to work on writing at coffee shops the way I used to. In short, I don't know what my problem is, and I'm worried that if I don't start writing again soon, I might not start at all. Basically, I need to check into writer's rehab. Or something.