For the most part, writing is not a contact sport. You rarely see two authors duking it out. And if there is bad blood, an author would be more likely to create a character in the other author’s likeness and kill him off in a horrendously satisfying way (think of that as our version of a voodoo doll).
Despite our gentle nature, authors need a win sometimes. Especially this one.
I’ve been feeling a bit like a hamster stuck in a wheel. My second novel wasn’t behaving and with each draft of it, I felt like I was making it worse, not better. So I did the best thing for that novel, my sanity and my laptop (because it was about to go flying out the window) and I put that story aside.
I started writing something completely fresh. A new story with new characters. I reminded myself that I’m writing a first draft, not a final draft, giving me permission to write without judgement. And while there’s notes to “Add Sciencey Stuff” and some plots to nowhere, I’m enjoying the rush of new words flying out of my fingertips.
Then earlier this summer, I put that novel on pause when I signed on to be part of a holiday anthology. This is the turning point in my story. With a snow cone in hand and Christmas tunes in my headphones, I wrote what I think (I hope) is a pretty good story. While I was working on that story, a good friend and critique partner was reading my second novel, and I think she’s put her finger on what was bothering me with it.
So with my Christmas story done and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for my second novel, I picked back up where I left off on my third and am now closing in on finishing that first draft.
With all the “losing” I’ve been feeling over the past couple of years, it’s nice to finally feel like I have one in the win column.