You get attached to this thing—this wonderful thing—that you're trying to create, and you chug along with it. You work on it. You work at it. At making it good and right and presentable and, better than presentable, just as good as you see it in your head at the day of conception.
And sometimes it's easy. Yeah. Easy. Writing sounds like it should be hard—feels like it should be hard—but then there are the days where it isn't and the words just flow out of you like a fucking hurricane. It's better than easy. It's effortless. You're done before you even knew that you had really begun.
I thought that this book would be like that. I thought about this thing and I felt a hitch in my heart and knew, just knew, that it was love. The book wouldn't let me down, and I definitely wouldn't let the book down.
Stupid old me.
I fell in love and I dug into this thing's guts (because all great love stories involve one half of the couple playing joyfully in the other's viscera) and, guys, it was bewildering. The more I wrote, the more I realized that I knew nothing about what I was writing. My protagonist—who had seemed so clear and archetypal in my head—refused to behave or even present a consistent voice. A simple murder mystery became increasingly labyrinthine and politically charged. My world seemed kind of bland and half-baked. And on top of it all, everything about the work started interfering with the rest of my life in unhappy ways.
So I kind of freaked out. I just...I just got scared, guys. I had let the story down, and then I let myself down, and then I ran roughshod on all of you and started letting you down. And before I even knew that I was looking for an out, I had this job opening come along (which I absolutely didn't get, by the way) and, well, when you start letting someone down you tend to keep letting them down. So instead of coming back and rethinking my novel, I went on the run and wrote a short story, invented a board game, and replayed the Mass Effect series from beginning to end.
Anything to keep away from this. Anything to keep on letting us all down (even if I am proud of the short story and the board game thing).
So, this probably seems like goodbye. Maybe, for some of you, it will be. I didn't come here today to say that I'm done, though. I came to say that I'm just getting started. This isn’t an ending, it’s a climax. It’s the moment in an Ennio Morricone score where someone whistles and plays a diddley-bow for a few seconds before the horn section kicks into mad, desperate overdrive. This is the first post of a new Hey, Internet! One where I figure out this stupid book and write it, and make it as good as the image of it that I still clutch to in my head.
There will be some changes, of course. Posting seven days a week was exciting for a while, but ultimately too much when combined with the actual novel writing and my everyday personal/professional life. We'll be on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule for the foreseeable future, with an option for additional post at my (admittedly ridiculous) whim. There's also going to be some site maintenance coming along, and, oh...I haven't quite figured out how to fix the book yet, so we might well be back in Planning mode for a week or two.
I'll keep you updated. On Wednesday.
Because we do that now.