Last week I buried my novel.
Not really buried. I am all for making grand symbolic gestures but I have three children. And a husband, 20 chickens, two dogs, five rodents (on purpose) and a job. And another job. I’m happy to reside in metaphor whenever possible; it’s more efficient.
My novel, instead of being weighted by a foot or so of dirt and manure, is decomposing in my documents folder, waiting to be mined for useable organs. I’ve decided to quit sending it to agents, contests, small publishers. I’ve decided not to pay a thousand or so dollars for someone to tell me how to fix it. I’ve decided it was (yet another) training novel. I have moved on. Goodbye characters, goodbye theme. Goodbye setting, goodbye scene.
No, not sad at all. A bit frustrated. A tiny bit angry. A tinier bit relieved. Mostly I am looking toward the next big project with blinders on to keep what came before from derailing my progress. Because there’s always that hovering question – “Is this good enough?” – to keep me from really relaxing into the process of writing a big chunk of words into existence. That question is so necessary and so lethal.
I am, too, tired. Wondering how many times I have to pay my dues and hold my thumbs before a certain type of success actually happens. If ever. But onward. Forward. Towards new characters and new horizons, new distances glimpsed between trees. Make a wish for me.
That is so hard. And so good. Shut that drawer for a little while. Give yourself a new writing vista–without looking behind– and see what happens. Magic, I believe.