Friday, April 15, 2011

Epic writing week

Well, I found my mojo.

How, you ask? I merely rolled up my sleeves and started writing. And I didn't quit until my eyes glazed over.

Each day this week. Without fail. I didn't blog. I didn't read blogs. I stayed off Facebook and Twitter. I even managed to (mostly) avoid my baseball PS3 game. Oh, and even real baseball, except for night games.

Yesterday, for instance, I sat down to write a particularly big scene in Empty Spaces, one I had been looking forward to writing for quite some time. I had no idea how long it would be, I only knew I wanted to finish it in one sitting.

I did.

And it was 3,500 words long. I know that's a piece of cake for some writers to knock off in a day, but I tend to agonize over each and ever sentence -- even going back and rewriting after only a couple of paragraphs. So, it was a pretty big deal for me.

All told, I wrote a bit less than 10k words this week, bringing the manuscript up to 26k. Still a ways to go, sure, but I'm back into the story and it's starting to well up inside of me, like The Devil You Don't Know did when I was writing it every day.

I'm still a bit down, since I've heard nothing from any agents except one since the Writer's Digest conference in late January. That means I still have two partials and a full out, not to mention more than 20 queries. Some of the queries are several months old now, so I'm assuming a no on them. But many are less than a couple months old, so there's still hope.

And no, I haven't pulled the trigger on self-publishing yet. I'm not sure I ever will, to be honest. But I think it's wise to keep it as a fall-back right now for TDYDK.

I'm really sorry I've been absent on the Internets recently. I promise to post more here and hit all of your awesome blogs. Honestly. It just seemed important to me that I somehow climb back into the writing saddle and start riding again.

And, thank God, I did.

How was your writing week?

Monday, April 4, 2011

In search of my Mojo

I've so much to say, and yet I cannot for the life of me think of the words with which to express myself.

Sounds like a conundrum, doesn't it? Indeed, it is.

Most of you, being the wily writer-types you are, have no doubt noticed my absence here in Blogland. Believe it or not, I've missed you all. Really, I have.

It's just that, well, I've been lost lately.

I'm not going to start in on another whiny, self-absorbed post about how much it sucks to sit here waiting on something, anything, to happen in my quest toward publication. No, I'm as tired of writing that depressing crap as you are reading it.

Still. Something, it seems, has died within me the past few months. My desire? My willingness to continue slicing open a vein only to see the fruits of my labor wither and die while still on the vine? Am I giving up?

I don't know. I hope not.

I have a confession to make: I have been seriously considering e-publishing The Devil You Don't Know, despite having two partials and a full out to agents. Why, you ask. Because I no longer believe I will find an agent. Whether it's because the book sucks, or whether the subject matter is too offensive to non-spiritual people, I don't know.

But I've lost hope for the most part.

And that's making it doubly difficult to work on my new book, even though it's a million miles removed from its predecessor in subject matter and tone.

I'm reminded of an episode of Scrubs, the best TV show in history, in which J.D. has lost his Mojo, which although I can't prove it, I suspect is a metaphor for erectile dysfunction. (I could be so lucky as to only have a flaccid you-know-what to deal with!). Unlike poor J.D., my lost Mojo goes to the very heart of what I do, of what I am.

I seem to have lost the will to write.

OMG. I can't believe I just typed that. But, alas, it's true. At least, temporarily.

I've penned several blog posts over the past year and a half on writers who give up, and why they shouldn't. I can be one hell of a cheerleader when I want to be. Apparently, I can also be a hypocrite as well.

'Cause this little firefly is burning out. Big-time.

I've been on a sort of spiritual quest for the past four years or so, since leaving journalism. I met God in Alcoholics Anonymous and, whether you choose to believe or not, He saved my life.

So I've been searching for meaning, asking the Big Questions. I've been reading theology and philosophy books, talking to shrinks and ministers and drunks and poor people and Mayans. If I wasn't so dense, I'd swear I was turning into an intellectual.

I've come to believe we all have a purpose in life. Don't ask me to explain how I know that, I just do. I've always thought my purpose in life was to be a writer. And who knows? Maybe it is.

But right now, things seem a bit, well, murky.

Perhaps the God of AA can save me yet again, for it was in AA that I learned a valuable lesson: We cannot change our lives by thinking and talking about it, but only by acting upon it. By having faith in ourselves, we act. And change then follows.

In other words, I've reached that critical point in my writing career when I have to do what I least want to do: I must sit down and write. I must quit analyzing and talking and thinking ... and start doing.

Now excuse me while I go figure out this thorny plot of mine.

P.S. Damned if I didn't just write another annoying self-absorbed whiny post. Sorry. :)