Wednesday, January 21, 2009

today, I wrote

Maybe it was the inspiration from the inaugural rhetoric. Maybe it had stewed long enough. Regardless, I wrote today. To be more specific, I worked on a manuscript.

I've had massive fears regarding my nonfiction manuscript. For one thing, I've been quite focused on my fiction, especially getting the word out about Faking It. When I initially started to write the nonfiction book, I don't think I had ever really had serious plans for it. Rather, I was willing to put them on hold in favor of the fiction. I had just wanted to get the first draft done, perhaps send a proposal to a few agents, and let the chips fall where they may.

But God has a sense of humor. Or maybe she's a literary agent.

Nevertheless, I fell into a publisher, a co-creator, and suddenly my manuscript had a real audience. And real problems too. For one thing, I couldn't get a grasp of my audience (at this stage, I typically write for me). For another thing, I started trying too hard.

Before I knew it, my manuscript had become a mess. It had no purpose (or too much purpose), a lack of focus. The more I tried to keep my ego out of it, the more it dug in its heels.

So, I stopped writing. Or maybe I just plain ran away from it. Everytime I wanted to work on it, I opened it up and the thing just frightened me, because I knew I had to obliterate and start over. And what scared me most is that I wasn't sure I wanted to start over, nor did I want to try to fix what was already there.

I kept procrastinating. January, I told myself. I'll pick it up again in January.

It's taken most of January to get the momentum back, to figure out what I want, but, as what typically happens when I put a manuscript down for awhile, sooner or later the words come, because they've been marinating, stewing, all this time. And I think I had finally made the decision: start over. move forward. re-see.

So let's hope today's burst of inspiration was enough of a spark to get the flame going. I think I totaled about five pages, single-spaced. So yeah, it was a good day.

Really, it's about getting over the fear. Isn't that what it's always about?

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