(Title comes from this lovely song, which I’ve been listening to on repeat while I work on this. I find it very relaxing.)
I’ve been hemming and hawing over how to kick off this whole blog for a few days now, so I finally decided to start it one of the only ways I know how: with equal parts hesitance and impatience, and a few jokes that I’m sure only I will laugh at. In a weird way, I kinda wanted to be mad at myself for taking a whole week and a half to actually post on my “official writer’s blog” (!!!), but honestly, I’m sure I can find much better reasons to be angry with myself. It’s probably not worth the effort. Besides, as a non-random example of my indecisiveness, days after finally ending the weeks-long search for a pen-name, I changed my mind again, tweaking the name just a tiny bit.
As it is, I wrote the embryonic form of this post while I was bone-tired from work. Seriously, I think I actually nodded off a time or two over my notebook. I didn’t want to lose hold of the idea, though I feel lucky that I can read any of my earlier natterings right now. Which brings me to my point:
Time. We want to get things done so quickly (also while wasting time doing completely pointless things — tumblr, I’m staring straight at you). Important things. Unimportant things. I’m at one of those points in revisions of my first completed first draft ( I’m on the second of what I’m sure will be many drafts, UGH) where I just want to take the whole thing and toss it in the fireplace, just to watch it all burn. I’ve spent two years so far working on this novel off and on, and I feel like I’ve gotten nowhere. Sometimes I feel like I’ve wasted so much time.
At work the other night, I don’t remember what I was doing, but I thought: “Sometimes you have to let things steep, like tea.” I stopped mid-step, in one of those small epiphany sort of moments. It helped lift some of the weight of my anxiety. It also reminded me of something my grandmother said on my last birthday, when I complained about how I felt like I hadn’t accomplished any of the things I’d wanted to by then: “You’re always going to feel that way. Besides, getting older beats the alternative.” So, if I feel the need to set something on fire, I’m going to light a candle or two and keep working on my novel. And if all else fails, I remind myself that not only was Pride and Prejudice rejected the first few times Jane Austen submitted it for publication, but she would ultimately spend thirteen years working on it. I may not want to spend that long on this one book, but I hope to find in myself that sort of perseverance. If any of you have need of it, I hope you will, too.