Why am I up at 2:08 AM working on my blog?
Because I am a victim of writer worry.
Once upon a time, I didn't have this. Oh, sure, I lay awake at night worrying. . .about my children's health, about whether or not homeschooling was working for us, about paying bills, all those regular, mundane sort of worries.
But now I lie awake thinking about my characters. What Tasmyn did in the last chapter--was that in keeping with who she is? What would Michael do if this happened? Should I flesh out Amber a little more? Is this all a tremendous waste of time? Will I ever see these books in print, outside of doing it myself?
And why don't I blog more regularly? What can I do to promote my writing? From all sides, tweets, blogs and books, I'm reminded that plugging my own writing is essential. What am I missing?
Should I go to a writers' conference? Which one? What will I do if I submit my work for review and they trash it? Do I trust their opinions, or do I keep at it? How long is too long to keep the faith in this work?
How can I make my query letter better, more effective? Why didn't someone tell me before now that you never submit a prologue with sample pages? Is my book doomed to failure because it doesn't start with a bang? Aren't there other books out there whose story develops smoothly and slowly (I am thinking of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series--I've never read books that developed at such a snail's pace as those).
That's just a small sampling of what runs around my brain at midnight, after I turn off the lights.
So the bigger question is this: why do I bother? Why not just forget this if it causes me so much angst? Let it go!
Ask a mom why she continues to care about her child after he has broken her heart. Ask any new parent why he gets up five times a night to feed the baby. It's the same answer. No matter how troubling, no matter how sleep disrupting or anxiety-provoking, I love it. I couldn't abandon this now.
So I'm heading back to bed to catch a few hours of sleep and hope that my head will quiet down. If it doesn't, I'll be playing my favorite going-to-sleep game: re-write the query letter in my head.