I am in the early chapters of writing a new book in a new series that will release in November 2014. It’s going along quite well, but I’m still feeling my way in the story as I meet new characters and they face new circumstances. It’s a contemporary story with an historical thread running through it, which I love. And my per day word count, in order to meet my deadline, has been reasonable. I’ve liked that.
Yesterday morning an email I’d been awaiting came from Editor #1. Revisions on The Heart’s Pursuit (May 2014), a single title historical that has given me more than my fair share of headaches. Some books are just like that. So I have awaited this revision letter with some trepidation. Thankfully, the editor had lots of praise for the story and the characters. Alas, there is still much work to be done to make it all that it should be. Not a big surprise, but it would have been nice if it only needed a light edit. But instead, I’ll have to begin wrestling this story to the ground once again.
[Tweet “The voice of doubt (I know this guy; he loves to whisper defeat & despair) said…”]
You’ll never be able to do this. You’ll never figure out how to give the editor what she wants. You’re going to fail on this one. Might as well admit it. And all that revising will put you way behind on your new book. You can’t do this. You can’t do it.
Shut up!!!!!!! Deep breath and release it.
In the afternoon, an email came from Editor #2. Revisions for my historical novella in Four Weddings & a Kiss (June 2014). More words of praise for my story and characters, followed by more suggestions for ways to improve it. Good news is, it’s much shorter than the novel so there isn’t quite as much work to be done.
But back came that voice of doubt.
You’re in trouble now. How can you juggle three stories in your head at the same time? You won’t be able to meet any of these deadlines. You’re going to fail. You’re definitely going to fail. Go on. Have a nervous breakdown.
Go away!!!!! Another deep breath and release it.
I can’t remember another time in my career when two revision letters have arrived on the same day, but even when I am just revising one story and in the midst of writing another, the temptation to give into panic has always been there. My brain always tries to shut down and hang out a sign that says: “Will never have another idea again.” But I have learned, if I just make myself relax, then sit down at the computer and get to work, from somewhere deep within, new ideas do rise to the surface.
Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” I say the same is true of writing. Very little of it is inspiration. Most of it is perspiration. I’ll get the work done, colliding deadlines or not.
But a hammock on a sandy beach in the tropics does sound mighty inviting at the moment.