Into the Woods

Filed under: Touching the Surface, Writing

As you know, I turned in my first round of revisions on TOUCHING THE SURFACE and I’m not expecting to hear back from my made-of-awesome editor, Anica Rissi until mid-June.  While I’ve been waiting biting my nails, I’ve done some yard work and laundry, caught up on some assignments for my debut authors groups and peered into the woods.  Not the actual woods–the proverbial one.  I’ve been peeking down the path of the unknown and dancing around my work in progress THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY.  

Back in the good old days, before WICKED became my favorite Broadway play (rivaled by RENT, LE MIS, CHORUS LINE and MISS SAIGON) there was another favorite.  You can ask my college roommate because she’s probably still sick of hearing the soundtrack.  I was obsessed with INTO THE WOODS.

How are the two connected?  The play is about a fairy tale, which is exactly what getting your first book published feels like.  But it’s also about what happens after you get the fairy tail when you forget, in the glow of your debut novel, that you have to write a second book. 


I’m just kidding, I love my second book.  Even though I haven’t been “actively” working on it while I’ve been doing revisions, it’s ALWAYS in my thoughts.  I do a lot of my early writing in my head–that’s my process. So, on Monday I transferred what I’ve written into Scrivener.   Yesterday I read what had been in my “drawer” for so long.  Then I started adding new material.  Of course, I lost some time searching for the perfect song to drum into my head for this new chapter.  Without a doubt I erased what I’d written a dozen times and in the end, I had a whopping 350 new words.

*head thunk*

I know that my methods for drafting are way different from revision.  I’m also aware that I love things about both of these phases of the process.  I just need to remember to switch hats.  At the end of the day what matters is that I feel very deeply about this story, the way I always have about SURFACE.  This doesn’t stop me from wondering if it’s a piece of crap.  Yeah, that’s what I think about, if I allow myself into the dark corners of my mind.  But I also know, without a doubt, that it’s the right story for me to explore.  I’ve simply forgotten how much raw me went into my first book.  How scary it is to go to those unknown places.  I’ve traveled so far with SURFACE that like giving birth to a real child, I’ve forgotten how hard the labor is.  All I seem to remember is the pure, unadulterated joy of holding that baby.

But now it’s time to be brave again.  Because if I could give you one tip, it would be to write your truth.  To be afraid, but to do it anyway.  I’m never going to stop being frightened of my potential to fail.  NEVER.  But I also know that I’m more afraid of having no potential.  What’s the worst thing that can happen to me?  I could be a hypocrite.  SURFACE could hit the shelves and readers could take that journey with me–only to discover that I didn’t learn anything from my own writing.  I don’t want that.  Instead I’m packing up my heart and my cheese grater (so I have something to rub it against) and I’m heading off into the woods…

“Into the woods to find the thing that makes it worth the journeying…

…because children will look to you, for which way to turn–to learn what to be.  Careful before you say listen to me.  Children will listen…”


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4 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Hooray for finishing those revisions! And you are going to rock that second novel, I know it. How could you not? You're awesome. 🙂

  2. (((((hugs))))) You're pretty awesome too!!!!!

  3. I've always loved this musical. It's my favorite.

  4. Woo hoo!!! I got to see it durning both runs…that does not mean I'm old lol!

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