This morning we piled into the car and drove back to the magical beach on a far dimmer and cooler day than before. My kind of weather.
I believe that somewhere along the trudge from car to shore my father-in-law used the word “bleak” to describe the landscape. And so it is. It was a nice echo of my internal state, these days.
Amazon has rejiggered their algorithms again, and I’ve gone from my best sales month ever in August to one of my worst ever in September. It’s so frustrating. These peaks and valleys have nothing to do with anything the author has control over. All one can do is keeping chugging–and so I do.
It’s been difficult to get stuck into the new project. I know so much more, and with knowledge comes evil, if you get my meaning. I wrote the Settlement in a blissful bubble and got The Bear’s Wife going in the same. This time I am self-conscious. This time, I got 14K words in, and started over to “find” my narrator’s voice. It was the right decision, but it has put off meeting the male lead again and bollocks. I want to meet him.
There are lots of strange feelings about that re-read and line-edit of the Settlement books, too. I think I have identified a life cycle of an author’s feelings about his or her own work. Dark and Deep is, for me, so long ago that I can love it again now. Before I Sleep, on the other hand, is very much in the doghouse.
And then there is the question of trade publication. This next novel is meant to be one I can submit to The Good Places–by which I mean the ones that want manuscripts and not query letters. I know too much about what publishers find “acceptable” now, though, to write without being self-conscious. And that squashes some of the joy out of the process. So bollocks again.
Ah well, it will all sort itself out, and I think that some day soon I will be posting my own Writer’s Manifesto. What I’m doing, what I want, where I intend to go. It helps to have these things spelled out.