Thursday, November 18, 2010

Having Faith

As some of you might already know, I’ve been having trouble of late, and by that I mean in the last four or five months.  I’ve been edgy and moody, unlike my usual self which is chipper and forever optimistic.  I’m not really sure of the reason why, but I suspect it has something to do with writing.  Now I’ve read about how moody and introspective many writers are and I’ve just been chalking this all up to that, but how can an errant desire to write, something I’ve never experienced before, all of the sudden throw me into an emotional tailspin?  It seems a bit of a stretch to me, but there haven’t really been any other changes in my life this year besides the writing so what else could it be? 
When I get into a serious funk, which seems to happen every few weeks or so, I bear down and keep reality in mind, after all, there’s nothing really wrong with me, just my flaky brain trying to pull one over on me.  I’m healthy, as is my family, including my dogs.  I have a roof over my head, a lovely one, too, which is not in danger of being lost in the mess that is the US economy and has, in fact, retained a strong value.  I have a running car, a really nice one, in fact.  My husband is gainfully employed and earns enough that I don’t have to work, though I wish I did.  My last client, however, just closed up shop this week, putting a final nail in the coffin that is my design company of the last fourteen years.  But I haven’t really worked much in the last three years anyway, so why should that make much of a difference?  
Even still, I have a difficult time holding onto that reality sometimes.  So what I’ve come to rely on more than anything else is faith.  Now I don’t mean spiritual faith.  That’s a given.  I have such a strong, unyielding faith in God.  It never wavers.  And I mean never.  If I let it waver even for even a moment, I would be crushed.
The faith I’m talking about is the one I have in myself.  I suppose that faith has wavered a great deal of late.  I had a strong, thriving business and earned a good reputation.  Now that it’s more or less gone, I’m not sure how to identify or define myself.  And I don’t really know what to do with myself.  My husband told me last night that I don’t have to work.  How generous is that?  He worries about money constantly, but he tells me not to sweat it.  What a fabulous guy, my greatest blessing.  So without the work and business to keep me going, I’ve turned to my writing, but what does that mean if nobody reads it?
I’m a hair’s breadth away from putting the very final finishing touches on my novel and start the querying process in earnest.  THAT scares the hell out of me!   Why?  Well for a couple of reasons.  First, what am I going to do everyday if I’m not working on my novel?  I do have a cool idea for a new one, but the thought of starting from scratch scares me.  I don’t think the second time around will be the same as the first.  When I got the idea for my first novel, The Mistaken, I just poured out of me in some weird, surreal experience I cannot even describe.  It was like I was possessed by someone else.  All the plot twists and characters just worked themselves out in one endless stream of thought.  I don’t know where in the hell it even came from.  Could I ever expect that to happen again?  I doubt it, but I do know how to write well this time, from the very start.
Second and most importantly, from everything I’ve ever heard or read, the querying process is an endless road of waiting and rejection.  The thought of it makes me want to puke.  From what I can tell, most writers never find an agent and therefore never get published.  You can’t imagine how discouraging that is when I haven’t even really started yet.  To make it all worse, so many literary agents are dropping out of the race because the publishing business is so demoralizing.  With book sales doing so poorly, publishers only seem to want to sign well known celebrities who have experienced their tantalizing fifteen minutes so that they can cash in on it.  But what about the storytellers?  And fresh ones, at that?  Are the e-readers destroying one of the oldest businesses on earth?  Although I would like to make some money being a writer, it’s more about having people read and enjoy my work than anything else.  
I can’t help but think this experience of writing my first novel means something, like someone else, some being greater than me, uh, that would be God, is somehow pulling the strings and has sent me on this path for a reason.  I’m trying to have faith in that and let it unfold as it was meant to.  Why else would something like this have happened to me?  I mean, I’ve always been a spiritual person, but it is ridiculous how out of body and surreal this has all been.  All can do is have faith that this is meant to happen, that I was meant to write this book, that I was meant to struggle with my demons and push forth and not give up until I find an agent, and hopefully a publisher, too.  It has to have meant something.  This must be the new way in which I define myself.

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FYI:  On the right side of my blog you will see "Pages".  Click on "The Mistaken" and you can read through chapter 17 (out of 49) of my book.  I'd love to know what you think.

1 comment:

Lisa R said...

You're not most writers. You are immensely talented. You've found your true calling is what's happened. You're only going to get better! You will get published and I have faith that you'll have a good, long career ahead of you!