The Craft
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Very Good Things


So I woke yesterday morning to find an offer from a publisher sitting in my mailbox. Now, I can’t give out details yet, but this is going to happen: I’m going to be a published author. (Okay, I’m probably going to be a published author — it’s still possible that I won’t like the contract, they’ll come to their senses, something will happen to muck it all up.)  I’m not going to be in ‘I’m writing a book’ limbo — everybody’s writing a book. I will have written a book. It will be in stores.

My reality just shifted.

So I’m taking a moment to reflect on this, because I’m kind of fascinated by the fact that this is the year that everything came together. I’ve been writing for a long time. Years and years. Why now? Why is this the year I’ve finished 2 books, and will almost certainly have a third finished by its end?

Part of it I can blame on finally jumping on the twitter bandwagon (which really is a fantastic, inspirational place for writers to be), but not all of it by any means. I think I’ve finally got it.

This is the year I wanted that book finished more than I wanted anything else.

I stopped playing RPGs, stopping mushing (yes, I mush, don’t judge), stopped playing video games every night and stopped cluttering my free time with TV. I cleared my schedule of all things not ‘writing the book’ with a few breaks for ‘reading books.’ I learned that I can write far faster than I was allowing myself and I learned that you can edit something good out of a shit first draft but you can’t make something good out of a blank computer screen. I learned that J.K. Rowlings is right about coffee shops being awesome places to write, that an iPad and a bluetooth keyboard were worth every penny spent, and that beta readers who give good feedback are worth their weight in gold (to be fair, I already knew the last one .)

So it turns out the secret to writing is…writing.

Barking at the heels of all this triumph and joy is a pack of devastating insecurities, because shit is about to get real, yo. You can tell yourself that you’re an awesome writer as long as it’s just you and a small circle to friends who sincerely believe you’re the next Hemingway (or at least don’t want to hurt your feelings.) That all changes when it’s a real book, really out there, and really being reviewed, praised and stomped on by people don’t know you and don’t care one bit about your feelings. Publishing a book is brushing out your hair, getting up on that horse and going for a naked ride through town. I look at a lot of authors. Some are amazing and some are not (at least not by my definition) but how could I ever tell them that when I am so aware of how much spilled blood is left on the keyboard by the time ‘the end’ is printed on that last page?

Writing is the easiest thing I’ve done, the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the most worthy thing I’ve ever done.

Okay, now on to stressing over book covers.

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