Please forgive me in advance, but this is going to be an unusual post. Writing-life-wise, I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts, you see. And it seems to have had an effect on my WU essay routine.
I normally write my WU essays about a week in advance. I like having a cushion. I even have a warning notification set up in my Outlook calendar for one week prior to each of my scheduled pub days. Last week, when that day blew by with no essay idea in sight, I still wasn’t too concerned. It’s happened before. Something would occur to me. Well, at the three-days-to-go mark, I started to worry. And I started a post. Then another. And another. This is pretty much how my weekend went. I took all three attempts to about 500-700 words before abandoning them. But in each case, I just wasn’t feeling it. I realize now that I was trying to force it.
Get this: a couple of the attempts were “craft instruction” type posts. Let’s face it—when it comes to essays, I’m not the instructor type. I guess if I had to describe it, my essay style would be something like: “Here’s what’s going on in my writing life and with my work; this is what I’ve come to recognize and/or believe; hope you can relate, and that I’ve made you feel less alone.”
So here I am, on the last day, starting my fourth attempt. And I thought, well, maybe I ought to just write about what’s going on in my writing life and with my work. Here goes nothing.
The Circumstantial Evidence
Allow me to start by offering an overview of my circumstance. I’m working on a trilogy. Book one is out on submission. I have a draft of book two, which is still out to a few remaining beta-readers. And I’m about a quarter of the way into a draft of book three (trying to gather all the threads of the first act).
I have no evidence that book one will sell. I’m not sure how much revision work there is to be done on book two (or book one, for that matter). And Book three is putting up one helluva challenge. Not that feeling challenged is a bad thing. Quite the contrary—I consider it a good sign. Still, I introduced several new characters and subplot-lines in book two, and I’m not exactly sure how the new elements will weave into the resolution. I really want this final book in the story to live up to its potential, to be as moving and powerful as my gut says it can and should be. I hope I’m up to it.
In addition to the writing stuff, last June when I finished a draft of book two, my wife and I came up with a list of home maintenance chores and repairs to attend to over the summer. I have about three-quarters of the list checked off, but the smell of autumn is definitely in the air, bringing the motto of House Stark to mind. A few of the unfinished repairs are weather-dependent. I need stuff to dry out, and we’ve had one of the wettest summers on record.
All of these aspects of my circumstance have something in common: uncertainty. I recognize that this is why I’m feeling out of sorts. [Read more…]