Sorry for the late post, I was kind of working all morning. I finished yet another round of edits today. You'd think I'd get tired of this, that it wouldn't be exciting anymore (especially when I'm going on like round 19 or something like that), but each time actually feels more triumphant. I can't believe I read it again. I can't believe how close it's getting. I can't believe it's...good.
I took myself to lunch in celebration. A bento box seemed appropriate.
But while I was out, I realized how soon these edits could be done, and of course my mind drifted to the next task. What is up with that? Writers really never stop working, do they?
I'm all fluttery nervous to get back to Transparent, the WIP I'm rewriting. I wanted to finish it before this other edit, but it just wasn't in the cards. And so I have to jump back in, about half way through.
If I'm being honest, I've struggled a lot with that book. I've loved it, hated it, doubted it, hoped for it, and everything in between. I've beaten it up, and in turn it beat me up. I've considered many times that maybe this story, this character, is too big for a n00b writer like me. Anything bad you can think about your writing, I promise you I've thought it about Transparent.
But I don't want to go back to the book with this mentality. I remember how hard it was to write thinking every second how much I was wasting my time. During lunch today, I did something really dorky: I decided I needed to write a letter to my book. I had stuff to say to it. So here goes...
I know things got ugly there at the end, before I took this break, and I want to apologize for treating you like crap. I blamed a lot of stuff on you, told you daily how awful you were, threatened to throw you out when I didn't know what to do or how to fix things.
It was wrong of me. I mean, how could I expect you to show up for writing time when I treated you like that? I wouldn't want to be written either after all the mean things I did. I don't even blame you for not flowing out of my fingers.
It was my fault—I put my own feelings on you. I felt like I wasn't a good enough writer to create you. I felt awful for not being strong enough to push through. I feared I'd never be able to fix you. I'm still afraid I won't be able to make you what you deserve to be, that I'll always fail your plot and characters and prose.
I know I've been a jerk, but I still want to write you. I still love how quirky and cool you are. I know I've treated you with disrespect when I should have nurtured you. I know I've been intolerant when I should have had patience. But when we start this again, I promise it'll be different. I have lots of promises for you, ones I intend to keep.
1. I promise to love you.
From page one, I knew you were special. You scared me because you were so different and challenging, but I fell in love quick. Maybe too much love because I never wanted to hurt you. Anyway, I promise to remember that love, even when things get rough.
2. I promise to separate my feelings from you.
When I feel like a bad writer, I promise I won't take it out on you. It's not your fault—you are the good idea and I'm the clumsy artist. If I doubt my ability, I promise to keep working because you deserve to be finished. I will remember that what I feel isn't always true.
3. I promise to treat your characters with respect.
I will be true to their feelings. I will admit when I've painted them wrong and fix it. I will love them, even if I have to hurt them. I promise to portray them as the flawed, strange people that they are. I will not get upset when they don't cooperate with me—instead I will ask them what the problem is. And finally...
4. I promise to treat your plot with respect.
If I mess it up, I will fix it. If I don't hit the right notes the first time, I will try again. I promise to write your plot as compelling as I possibly can, and I promise to admit when I've failed and should do better. And if I do get it right, I promise not to panic and wonder if I didn't.
I know it won't be easy, but I hope we can get along the next time I open your Word Doc. I meant it when I said you deserve to be written, and I'm sorry that I made you feel otherwise. I know a better writer could probably handle you just fine, but I hope you'll stick with me. We can do this. It will be better this time. I promise.