Blogs by Pamela C Labud
Life in the (not-so) fast lane.
8/16/2005 4:40:18 PM
What life is like between books.
Hello, gentle readers! It's time for an update on my blog and I find myself stuck at my computer wondering what bit of wisdom I can share. That tells you where I am physically, but how about in the writing realm?
(Instructions for reading this blog--find your old copy of the Eagles Hotel California cd, pop it into your music program, and crank up their "Life in the Fast Lane," song to experience this blog at it's intended effect.)
I am stuck somewhere between my first book being out and now mostly gone from the shelves, my second book languishing on my editor's desk, my third book only about a hundred pages finished, and a fourth book boiling under the surface.
One would think that for most of us, this would be a wonderful place to be, just hovering at the edge of creativity.
Well, okay, maybe not exactly. What the muses don't tell you is that hovering at the edge of creativity ain't exactly all it's cracked up to be. Why, you might ask? Because opposite of the 'edge of creativity' is also the pit of failure.
It's a very simple equation, for those of you who are acedemically inclined. The equation being very much like a science law we once learned. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Betcha didn't think of that one, huh?
For the writing world, as in math and science, it can mean a myriad of things. Even though your first book comes out to mostly glowing reviews, there is always that one reviewer, or perhaps acholarly reader, who doesn't get it. They can't seem to grasp onto your meaning and this makes them snarky. My heart was warmed a few weeks ago when one of the biggest NYT bestselling authors of our time said that People Magazine once gave a one word review of one of her best books as "yuck.'
I guess in the scheme of things I certainly have nothing to whine about.
Once you're published the angst does not stop there. Nope. Not only do those pesky insecurities not go away, but they are doubled in size and digging into your psyche with claws that would challenge a saber tooth tiger. Ouch.
So, while I sit back and marvel over the fact that after ten years and eight manuscripts I have finally made it, I realize that with every book, every partial, every synopsis it's like starting all over again. I feel like I have to prove myself all over again. Not just to the readers out there, or my editor, or my agent, or even to my critique partner, but also to myself. It's not a fun thing, I can tell you. Self doubt is uncomfortable to say the least.
So, if you're looking for a happy ending to this blog, I have to warn you, you're probably not going to find it. What you will learn, I hope, is that writing, like every other worthwhile endeavor in life, deserves committment and dedication every single day you do it. You have to continually enter in each new situation as you did as a novice. You have a little knowledge, yes, and you have a debut into the publishing world, but as quickly as you gained your station in the writing world you can lose it.
Moral of the story? I don't think it's totally hopeless, though I've asked my multi-published writer friends if it ever gets easier, they assure me it doesn't. I guess what it all means that no matter where you are in your career, you still have to fight for your dream.
Here's to keeping your fists up, your mind sharp, and your creative energy flowing for the long haul. Happy writing! Pam.
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