Friday, February 04, 2005

A Little Help From A Friend

Below are the words a friend sent me after reading my last few entries. She is a writer and has been publishing novels for over 50 years.
Your latest blog entry makes me see you really are stressed. Of course I often think two things are at work when we write our best.

One, it's such familiar territory, so ready to jump off the page that it does and it's good. The second one is the sneak punch. It's horrible in the creating. A struggle with many false stops and starts. In my case there is often a great deal of false euphoria attached to the struggle, times when I'm so elated with "how it's coming" that I can't see it's really going.

In between are the old, faithful professional jobs neither outstanding nor below par: just what they should be.

I hope you solve things. I have a feeling you will, only because I've been there. Instead of a blog I have The Inside Enemy. He's always around and sneering and suggesting I'm staying too long at the dance, suggesting who the hell will read this? suggesting I ought to sell my house and retire to Florida etc. etc.
I found this comforting and helpful.

I've now rewritten four chapters and I feel good about them. It's going better than I thought it would. Still, I'm not at the really tough places yet. But my setup is getting neater and making more sense.

I'll be thinking about it over the weekend as I read other people's books, and maybe go to a movie. Whatever I do I know my book will be constantly in a part of my mind. This time my mind might cooperate.

1 comment:

Olen Steinhauer said...

Good luck, Sandra. Like you, I never let anyone see an incomplete ms, and I can imagine your initial terror. But I have given a complete "finished" mess to people to read, and while there's always that initial repulsion to the prospect of days, weeks, months of rewriting and editing, once it becomes clear the changes are honing and helping, the euphoria jumps in. I said good luck at the beginning of this...but you're an experienced writer who doesn't need luck. You've got craft, and that'll certainly see you through this trying time. So, instead...I hope you enjoy the process with this book, which will inevitably lead to success. Best.