Day 1,384: This time for reals

Day 1,384: This time for reals

I sent off the final version of “Starstuff” today to my proofreader, this time for reals. For better or worse, this WILL be the last draft of that book. My proofreader will have her way with it, and what I get back is going up on Amazon as a pre-order…well, I guess, not directly, since there is some metadata I have to add, like copyright stuff, plus an author’s note at the end, I think, and maybe a sample of book 2? But, in terms of the actual book, the story, this is it.

Whew!

I’m on the upswing right now in how I feel about my writing. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts 😛 This is something I’ve just realized is a part of me, guys: sometimes I feel great about who I am and what I’m doing, and sometimes I feel like garbage. It is the nature of my existence. The low times are hard, and the high times are freaking awesome.

I was flippin exhausted today. Part of it was the news, I’m sure, but the other part of it was that I’ve just had a very long week this week, working, probably, 50 hours. But, you know, it is what it is. I got my rest today, and I will again tonight.

Oh! And I got some outlining done for kicking off next week in style! Just like I said I would. And it’s great. I know it’s going to work. I know it’s going to work…and that is just so, so satisfying. Some things became clear to me over these past few days about where my story needed to start, and the things that my characters needed to be DOING at the beginning of this second book. That is really, really, really the key, man. If I ever have a scene that’s just not working, it’s because I don’t know what the characters in that scene are *doing*. Once I have that firmly in mind, dude, the scenes write themselves. I’m just a observational bystander. So, that was exciting.

I’m also more and more convinced each day that I actually have an opening now to the first book, Starstuff, that works the way I’ll need it to. It’s an active opening, and it truly does kick off the story. It is the actual inciting incident, and I found a way to put that on page one, the very first line(s). Whereas before, it took me 30 pages to get to the inciting incident. Feedback about it has been universally positive, and that’s always a good sign. Hopefully the readers will agree 😛 I’m not expecting Starstuff to break any sales records, to be honest; I’m not sure it strikes me as that kind of book; but I do hope that it finds SOME audience. It’s an adventure worth embarking upon, that’s all I want. I’ll work on writing a must-read book next, figure out how to crack that nut.

The last word tonight is inspired by a comment from a long-lost friend who (apparently) actually reads this nightly drivel from yours truly, Jason, who commented last night about the aspirations and struggles of writing and expressing one’s self in general. This is the word of advice that’s on my mind right now, as I’m sitting up on the ledge of putting my work out there for the public to see:

Finishing is one of the most important skills to learn as a creative person.One of the three essential skills I’d think, which would be 1) create, 2) refine, and 3) finish and move on. Just came up with those on the fly, but I like it. It really is this whole shebang in a nutshell. An absolutely crucial, CRUCIAL element of being a creative person is that you have to be willing to accept your own work for what it is, to decide that you’ve made it as good as you are capable of making it at that time, let it go, and let people other than yourself consume and react to it. This act alone of finishing and moving on will teach you more than all of the creation and refining you have done up to that point. It ENABLES you to continue learning, and to not get stuck, and I’ve found this is true particularly if you put that work out into the public. WHY that is, I’m not entirely sure…I think it has something to do with getting used to exposing one’s vulnerable soft underbelly over and over again, which just like skin, toughens you up. But the ‘why’ is frankly secondary to the fact that it WORKS.

It’s one of the three essential skills I’d think, which would be 1) create, 2) refine, and 3) finish and move on. Just came up with those on the fly, but I like it. It really is this whole shebang in a nutshell. An absolutely crucial, CRUCIAL element of being a creative person is that you have to be willing to accept your own work for what it is, to decide that you’ve made it as good as you are capable of making it at that time, let it go, and let people other than yourself consume and react to it. This act alone of finishing and moving on will teach you more than all of the creation and refining you have done up to that point. It ENABLES you to continue learning, and to not get stuck, and I’ve found this is true particularly if you put that work out into the public. WHY that is, I’m not entirely sure…I think it has something to do with getting used to exposing one’s vulnerable soft underbelly over and over again, which just like skin, toughens you up. But the ‘why’ is frankly secondary to the fact that it WORKS.

So…finish what you’re working on and share it. Don’t wait for it to be perfect or better all on its own. Take the shortcut: share it as soon as freaking possible, and move onto the next piece of work. Listen to what people say about it, but listen with the juuuuust-enough emotional distance from that work (because you’re already working on something else) to actually hear how to do better…and then DO BETTER THE NEXT TIME.

That’s quite enough of advice from this guy here, who doesn’t have *shit* figured out yet…

Tomorrow is another day. More outlining for Monday. Some stuff to do with the Ho in the afternoon and some GoT stuff in the evening…and then it’s back to WORK. Just like that. Sigh.

Night.