Thursday, July 22, 2010

Writer Worry

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.

'Night, all.

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