WHAT’S PLAYING: Alicia Keys “Tell You Something (Nana’s Reprise)”
So, I’ve put my first novel aside for a bit and started work on a new book. It’s not going well.
The words are coming, but the little tingle I get when a story finally clicks into place is missing. With my first book, most mornings I’d sit down in front of the computer and the words would just tumble out of my head, one after the other, like some sort of shimmering fountain of awesomeness.
Awash with inspiration, I’d write for hours, stopping only to answer the demands of my coffee-filled bladder. I’d get up, only to discover that my legs had fallen asleep, and lie there, trying not to piss myself or scream as the pins and needles worked their torturous way through my lower extremities.
Those were the days.
When it comes to this new book, instead of a shimmering fountain of awesomeness, I get a viscous deluge of shit. It’s depressing. Like I need a nap after every 2-3 thousand words type of depressing.
Dead moms, madness, ghosts, monsters, trauma, prejudice, all my personal demons are in there. Add to that the knowledge that I’ll have to go back and tease some kind of hope out of all this despair, and you have yourself one tired, morose writer.
Don’t get me wrong. The book is good, probably the best thing I’ve ever written. (Which, at this point, is not saying much. But I’m saying it anyway. So, shut up.) More importantly, it’s the story I need to tell now.
Still, in the words of the immortal B.B. King, the thrill is gone.
I love writing, but days like this remind me that it’s a job, which requires work. That’s why I spend six hours a day slogging through this first draft, pushing through resistance, and forcing the words out when they refuse to emerge on their own.
Because I’m a writer. And that’s what writers do.
In the meantime, if I want thrills and tingles, I’ll call my boyfriend.