I’m told most professional writers will agree that when the mood hits and the brain cells are aligned, they have no problem sitting in front of a computer monitor and pounding out endless streams of words on the keyboard. It’s a passion they have. Yep, passion. I’ve heard that word often tied to writing. It’s exhilarating. Yep, I get that too—writing can be a rush, a real energy boost, a rebirthing. A catharsis, is another label writers use. Yep, heard that one, too, to describe the feeling you get after cleansing yourself of all your inner-most thoughts for all the world to witness, albeit through the lives of make-believe people.
What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that writing is a lot of work, especially for us wannabe authors of note. The process can be exhausting, debilitating and downright depressing. It’s the stuff that bottom feeders ingest willingly. Gag. That’s where I am tonight. I am rewriting a children’s book I wrote two years ago. Funny how awful a manuscript can be when you pick it up two years later since you last read it. “What was I thinking?” is a good phrase that came to mind during my initial reacquaintance.
Well, to make a long agony short, the artist is busy working on the book’s illustrations and I am devoting hours of renewed brain and emotion to all the verbiage. “It will happen,” I keep telling myself. But the problem is, for right now at least, the passion is gone, I don’t feel exhilarated and some of the catharsis seems embarrassing. Nope, this is not fun. This is a real birthing at its crankiest worst.
All kinds of things happen at this stage. Most of it is second-guessing. I keep rearranging the chapters then making subtle changes in the characters and what they are doing. And through it all I keep second-guessing myself. Do I really mean that? Do I really want to do that? Will the kids who read this really relate to it? Is all this lame? Should I just go away and watch a sitcom rerun?
I have been through this process several times before and I know that I will eventually emerge from the depths of this diabolical displeasure to the euphoria that one feels when the final product is done, printed and held tightly in one’s hands or downloaded on one’s Kindle. Yeah, that’s the goal…but for now it is so far far down the road and the road trip is taking forevvvvver… and I’m stuck in the back seat feeling car sick.