Thursday, November 8, 2007

Novel love oven lone

Writing a novel can be a real love/hate thing. The word novel has the word love in it and the word oven (as in stick your head in one). Yesterday, I was not feeling the love. Here's the deal. I have written two novels beyond SUMMERS AT BLUE LAKE. After working on them for three years and making many revisions, my agent isn't crazy to push either one. She really wants the next novel I sell to be "THE ONE" that makes my career take off. So no pressure, right? So I am working on my NaMoWriMo novel (A middle grade book for grades 4-6). And it seems to be going two steps forward, one step back. I am writing, writing, writing, and deleting. I question the character and the flow. I question the point of view. What if I spend all this time writing this thing and it still isn't the novel my agent has in mind for me? My confidence is shot. Add to that, the pressure of not succumbing to all the female stereotypes I read about in Packaging Girlhood. So yesterday I was feeling quite blue about the whole thing in spite of the fact that I really did get some writing done that day. I was about ready to start writing my resume and "get a real job." (That is an indication of how low I was feeling.)

But two things broke through to me while I was in this funk. One was a story in a magazine that I happened to be reading in the waiting room of my son's orthodontist. The story, by Robert Fulghum (the guy who wrote All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten), was so funny that I was shaking with repressed laughter. I was in danger of starting to snort. Please read Asbestos Gelos at your own risk.

The other item that gave me pause was a video of Paul Potts that my husband emailed to me. This one made me tear up. Perhaps everyone has seen this already, but I am sheltered at my writing desk, so I apologize if this is old news, but I did find it to be inspirational to me in my blue mood.

My gratitiude for today is for the way art touches my life in its many forms. Better than any drug.


Lilymane said...

The Robert Fulghum link was EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight. Your post about your day, your doubts, and the way you broke through also struck a chord for me. Thank you for being brave and for putting it out there. Peace.
ps - you forgot the word "vole" :D

Jill Althouse-Wood said...

Thanks for the comment Lilymane, but I am still on "e" short of evolve! LOL. Glad you enjoyed the Fulghum piece. Perhaps, I shouldn't admit this, but I read it out loud to my kids and my husband. I could barely get through it without cracking up. It's kind of potty humor, but written by a minister so it has a good message. When I can bond with my kids over crude humor and teach them a lesson, it's a good day.