This has been a week of shoving my head up my ass only to yank it out again. Yesterday, I was working away on plot notes for The Coast, and there was a moment when I sat back and thought, “This is such fucking horseshit. Even a paper shredder wouldn’t want to touch this crap.”
Lord knows I’ve been down this road before time and again, and I’ll be down this road again in the future. But two things happened this week that kept me from trashing everything I had on The Coast.
Over the weekend, Chuck Wendig had a brief “ask me anything” session on Twitter. I immediately asked if he ever got a story idea and thought that no one would want to read it in spite of how cool he thought it was. He said that it happened every time. Now, Wendig‘s got a few novels to his credit. Knowing that he still gets that uncertainty was encouraging. It tells me that even the experienced ones get the shakes. So I’m in good company.
But then yesterday, it happened again. I talked to my friend Ashley and laid my cards out on the table, telling her that I felt what I was working on was thin, derivative, and just plain shit, and I went on even after she told me to stop thinking like that. It’s really hard to force yourself to think a certain way. At least, it’s hard for me to do that.
Ashley’s got this great tattoo on her hand that reads “to the end”, reminding her that, no matter what happens, a writer has to get to the end of the story. And while I’m still an ink virgin, she reminded me that I have to find the fuel for my own fire. I have to find a way to keep myself going. At least, I need to keep myself going for the next year or so until The Coast is out there in its entirely.