I really do. I love to write. We're probably all the same way. All the publishing stuff, yeah, it's frustrating and daunting and sometimes even unfair, but the actual act of writing a story (for the most part), is a joyful, rewarding experience.
I am totally in love with my WIP, House Of Ivy And Sorrow. I am writing when I shouldn't, sneaking in paragraphs here and there when the kids let me. It's always there in my mind, as I play with the plot and characters and possibilities. It's so new, and it's been so long since I just messed around. I wish I could write and write. It's freaking awesome.
That's why submission scares me so much, I think. Yes, there's that fear of failure and rejection, but the worst mistake I made on my first round of sub was losing sight of why I was trying to get published in the first place. It was so hard to enjoy writing when my confidence was being challenged daily. I don't know what it is, but I have to be feeling good about myself and my writing to put out words. Discovering that your beloved novel isn't marketable? Not so great for the self-esteem.
I have felt really great these last few months. I'm not even sure I can express it, but the words have been flowing. I'm in a groove. I love what I'm writing and even editing, and sitting down to work is more like sitting down to play.
That is not something I want to lose. To which you might say, "Then don't lose it, silly! Focus on your writing when you're on sub. Don't think about that book—it's out in the world and you can't control what happens." Et cetera and so forth. Oh, how I wish it was that easy. But it's not. It is in no way easy to just forget about that book I slaved over for approaching two years, to say, "Hey, yeah, I put all that work in and it may not pan out and I'm SO okay with that!" It takes time to get there, because as much as you tell yourself that, you still really, really want it to happen. There is no way not to want it. There is no way to just move on. Yes, you can distract yourself, but it's still there in the back of your mind. The waiting. The wanting.
So yeah, sub is not the best state for maintaining writing confidence. That doesn't mean I won't try, because, oh, do I have a plan already in place. But I'm so worried I'll lose my groove, even with all the lessons learned.
That is the worst—when writing becomes the enemy. It should never be the enemy, but I guess it's that whole "there's a fine line between love and hate" thing. I never want to go to that bad place again, but is it something that always comes with sub or was it just another one of my rookie mistakes?
I don't know the answer to that question, which is why it's all so stressful, I suppose.
But right now I am writing. And I am loving writing. And I'm trying to soak in every moment so I can remember what it feels like, so I can call upon those memories when things get hard. Because despite everything, that's why I'm here: the writing.
If I forget that, go ahead and give me a swift kick.