It’s been a while, I know. A few weeks ago, I got feedback on a contest entry. To say it was disappointing is an understatement. It wasn’t quite devastating, but it was very discouraging. Thinking maybe the judges were smoking something, I sent it to a few of my writer friends. They disliked it, too, for more or less the same reasons as the judges. It was the first time I’ve written something that was universally hated.
It’s the measure of a true friend when they tell you what you don’t want to hear. Unlike the judges, who gave freely of their opinions and walked away, my friends helped me figure out a new direction for the story. It will be better, tighter, than it currently is. When I write it. I haven’t started it yet.
Granted, some of that is because this is a busy time of year for us, and I rarely get any good writing done from mid-June to mid-July. We have other commitments during that time that make it difficult to focus on writing, and when I do write, I almost always end up cutting or heavily revising it later. But usually by this time, I’m eager to get back to it. I’m thinking about the story, jotting down notes, trying to steal a moment or two to get to my keyboard. Not this year. The notecards for the rewrite are sitting on my desk and it feels like the task is too big. It’s too much. Why even bother? Why not just move on to greener pastures?
Because this isn’t the only one. I have four books in similar shape on my hard drive–skeletons of what they can and should become. Because this is a call, like it or not, and right now, I don’t. But in the long run, I’ll do myself more harm than good by not writing. So I’ll enjoy a week with my family, and when they’ve left, I’ll pick up the pieces and start. Again. Because I have to.