Usually writing the beginning of a story is easy. Usually, I’m not recovering from the flu and I can focus.
Okay that’s a poor excuse. The fact is I’m not committed to my current book. It isn’t that I don’t want to write it. It’s more like, I’m moving back to a series that I know is destined for a small press and hence small money. I’m not sure why I’ve focused on the small money thing. I’ve always written the stories that I’ve wanted to read, but somewhere inside my head is a voice telling me that I’m not a real author unless I make x amount of dollars off of a book.
Part of this comes from writers groups. SFWA, RWA and a bunch of other writers groups don’t consider you a professional unless you’ve earned x amount of dollars or been published with their approved publishers. While part of me rants against such an arbitrary standard, I do recognize the difference between someone who is just starting out and someone who has been writing for years. I know this is also an attempt to weed out those who think about writing a book and dream about becoming an author, yet who will never finish writing a book.
But I really resent being told I’m not a real author.
Then I remember what my mother told me: No one can make you feel bad without your permission.
I can’t believe I let a stranger get to me and shake my confidence. I am an excellent writer. I have the reviews to prove it.
And I have the faith in myself and my writing to believe it.
As for being published by a small press, maybe I won’t be able to retire, but I am getting my work out there. The presses are professional, the editing is well done and rigorous and my editors believe in my stories. That’s a powerful validation.
So now comes the second snafu to my writing. Outside events. Yes the flu really did a number on my brain and energy levels, but I’m recovered now. What tanked my creativity levels this last weekend was emotional maelstrom at home. The cause: a truck plowed through our block fences and almost came to a stop inside our pool house.
Ironically, I was watching a war movie (Passchendaele) at the time, so at first I thought the boom was part of the soundtrack.
Then I realized the boom had come from the backyard.
I opened the sliding doors from my master bedroom and couldn’t see much beyond the thick smoke (later identified as concrete dust) and the red glow I thought must be fire. Thinking a transformer blew, I shut the door, grabbed my cell and walked out the front door. My oldest met me at the front door and told me someone had driven into our backyard.
The neighbors were out but no one had gone to see if the driver was all right. Thankfully, the driver wasn’t hurt much beyond bruises and scratches. I am extremely thankful that he didn’t drive into our diving pool which was empty at the time. That would have been a ten foot drop and his air bags didn’t deploy. So the only damage was to our two brick walls (multiple sections), the cool decking and to the pool house, which had the glass broken out of the French doors and chunks of bricks embedded in the siding. Of course, I have bricks in the pool and spa, so no telling if there’s damage there and we can’t clean up until the insurance comes on Tuesday.
We were lucky, and I am thankful.
But my youngest who suffers from severe anxiety had a hard time sleeping in her bed (her room is near the pool house, and she was sure some car was going to drive into her bedroom and kill her). Talking about her fears and having her take the pictures of the damage to take some of the power away from her imagination helped. She managed to settle down a mere half an hour last night which is a big improvement over the two plus hours on Thursday.
Writing this helped me. Who knows maybe I’ll use it in a story some day. And now that we’re back to normal (although the property isn’t), I can focus on my writing.
Or I hope so.
I’ll keep you posted.