Okay, so I’m willing to get pummeled in order to have a writing career. Great. Where to begin?
Well, why not go back and look at some of my old stuff?
It was impossible to read my first book, FULL-TIME WOLF. It sucked way too badly and was discouraging. Same with my second book, BREED OF CAIN. But I had a third, as-of-yet untitled book about a guy with lizard skin who traveled with a sideshow in the late 1800s.
I opened that book and started reading it. It was unfinished at 155 pages, but I managed not to barf my guts out while reading it, so I kept going.
And then something magical happened. I started seeing the suckiness of my writing. Whenever I describe the moment, I say it was like bending a green stick for years and years and years, and then one day it finally snaps. That’s what it felt like to be able to see the errors I was making. And now that I was removed from being so passionate about the project, I was able to objectively say what should stay and what should go.
155 pages was stripped down to 47. That was all that was left that didn’t totally suck. Don’t get me wrong, those 47 pages still sucked, but at least they had an inkling of something to work from.
So I got to it.
For three months on worked on revising Roy Pellerin’s story, and somewhere along the line I had the idea of calling it NORMAL. When it was done I felt I’d finally written something worthy, and I started showing it around.
Little did I know that I hadn’t been pummeled yet. In hindsight, I can say that I hadn’t even been hit yet, that I hadn’t even begun to understand the future poundings I would receive at the hands of this writing quest. However, in all the time before rewriting NORMAL, it was like I was hiding, ya know? I was behind some veil, so whether I wrote or not didn’t really matter.
There was no risk.
But with the completion of a book I was proud to have written, and with the new understanding that maybe it’s okay to be proud of it, I could no longer stay behind the veil, and so I stepped out into the light… and started getting hit.