The Thigh Bone’s Connected to the Hip Bone–Eventually

Filed under: Pondering, The Opposite of Gravity, Touching the Surface, Writing, Writing Style

There are days when I’m completely convinced that this whole book thing is a fluke. Although I hear I’m not alone. It appears that if you’re a writer, then you’re very familiar with this thing called a self-sabatoging lack of belief. It’s what we do–it’s inescapable–just part of how we operate. The majority of the time I’m just mucking around in my manuscript, trying to see if the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone and if they get together will it be an interesting interaction.

This is particularly stressful at the end of a first draft, when the pressure is on and I can’t see how all these bones are going to form into something that can hold it’s own weight. Some days it feels like the parts are never going to end up in the right places, let alone be engineered for movement. But…

There is this magical moment when something happens and my brain starts acting like it’s had this amazing plan all along and–lucky me–now it’s finally letting me in on it. And that’s when I realize that my subconscious is a heck of a lot smarter than I usually give her credit for. Smart enough to help me write a great book, but also smart enough to realize that the book is a journey–a personal puzzle. Things mean more when you have to fight for them–when you run the risk of failure. But when the light comes one, those illuminated moments give me chills. And that feeling is worth working for and waiting for.

I know that the rug will be pulled out from beneath my feet again soon. Crit partner, agent, editor–they will take my “finished” masterpiece and search for holes and point out dead ends. It won’t be long before I’ll be talking non-stop about my incompetence and my utter lack of writing talent. That’s why I wanted to write myself this blog–as a reminder that those magic moments will come again. Think of this post as a ribbon wrapped around my finger, reminding me that I am the sum of my parts and some of my parts aren’t so bad. I’ve got good bones in me and I know what to do with them if I give myself the chance.

What’s your worst fear about your writing? What’s your magic moment–the one when you know that you are doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing?

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  1. I just finished Book 2, and I could have written this post. (Except, yanno, there probably would have been a reference to a Manhattan in it. Or a camel.)

    When I reached that magic moment this time–when I realized my subconscious did indeed know what she was doing, and my wacky plot slid into place–I was so relieved!

    Now, I know I still have work to do. My CPs, agent, and editor will all find rough edges for me to polish, but for now I’m enjoying my brief moment of “Whew!”

  2. I’ll take those moments of Whew whenever I can get them!!! Congrats on finishing book 2!!!!

  3. I love this post. There are so many “magic moments” as a writer, but I think that my favorite is when my critique partner *finally* says that I’m done. That he has no more critique to offer. Gives me butterflies! :).

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