Okay--so I outlined that insane writing schedule in the last blog feeling a twenty lb. weight on my chest. Yes--it's a bit of pressure to put on yourself, and I could feel that in my bones. I also had another twenty pounds from the worry that my attempt to combine my Green's Hill novellas and my DSP publications was going to flop heinously--and yes. I still feel that. (Or worry about it.) Again--some pressure to be perfect. Some pressure not to fail. Some pressure to make myself strive even harder to be better/stronger/faster uber writer/mother/teacher/wife. And today, I even planned to clean the house. (Well, I did manage to clear off the couch--trust me, that was farther than anyone else thought I could go.)
And then I got one of those e-mails that brings a bit of perspective.
I won't go into details because it was a private correspondence, but the letter did make me remember why I started writing. This is going to get gooey--forgive me.
Something inside of me--something real, something personal--was snarling to get out. I WAS Cory--or a part of me was. I've said on a couple of occasions that ALL (or most:-) of Cory's leading men are based on Mate. Green and Adrian especially--I love these men, because I love Mate. (And Bracken--let's not forget Bracken--he's got his granite roots in Mate too. Except Bracken's better at home improvement--I'll give him that.) These stories that I wanted to tell--they're personal to me. No, I'm never going to run off with a vampire, and if sheer will could make me a sorceress with a killer metabolism and a problem gaining weight, well, it would have already happened, but that doesn't mean I haven't poured a whole lot of emotion into Cory's books, and into the Bitter Moon books as well.
This letter made me remember that. So of course I'm going to keep writing--and i've got a plan and people whom I relate to and whose presence I enjoy in my mind, and they're definitely going to get their chance to be made real. But in the midst of all the craziness, all of the 'DSP *and* Indie writer! bullshit scary/funky dynamic, I'm going to remember one thing.
Whether DSP publishes everything I submit, and no matter WHAT I choose to work on at the time, I need to love it. I need to love what I'm doing. I need to put my heart into it.
Now it's not like I had plans to do anything less, mind you--but you forget. It's EASY to forget, especially as certain aspects of success start calling your attention (and no--not saying I'm Nora Roberts or Charlaine Harris yet!) what you started out writing, and why you want to keep on writing JUST that way.
This letter helped to remind me of that.
Now, I'm doing the DSP novellas because I can be a little lighter with them--and that's the truth. But as I re-read (and revised, in spite of the fact that I submitted it three days ago, bless Lynn West, btw for taking the revised manuscript) Litha's Constant Whim today, I realized that, for all it's flaws (and setting up the Cory-verse for a stand-alone story is a BITCH, and I'm sure I fucked it up in places that even a trained professional can't fix) Charlie and Whim's story moved me. It made me cry as I was writing it. It made my beta readers cry as they were reading it. (Okay, Eric, not you--but ladies, I know you got the sniffles, you TOLD me you did!) So this story--whether or not it's acceptable for publication anywhere else but in another novella collection like the Jack & Teague novellas--has done what I set out to do with it. And I was true to my craft, and to the love with which I execute it.
I need to keep that clearly in my head as I set up impossible deadlines. Stay true to my stories, true to my characters, and true to my craft. People will wait, but my children will not, and readers forgive a late book much more readily than they forgive a bad one.
And given the quality of my readers and the passion and healing that reading brings them, living up to their expectations is a worthy goal. I'll continue to work towards it--but maybe at a saner, more quality conducive pace.
So eventually I may have to revise that schedule. But in the meantime, I get to watch Zombieland with my teenagers, and I may clean the house instead of write tomorrow afternoon.
But what I do write, I'm gonna write with all my heart. Deal? I thought so!