I have the sequel to my first book mostly finished. I am in the “polishing” stage, and I may end up re-writing one big scene toward the end, in the interest of creating emotional coherence where, right now, it’s possible none exists. I can’t really tell. I don’t have enough distance to tell, right now.
I’m having a brief spell of burnout, bitterness, and self-doubt about the writing. This is apparently endemic to the creative process. I’ll get over it. It’s just… hard while it lasts. Many people have been kind enough to read my stuff, but I’m left feeling like every single one of them was some combination of disappointed, bored, offended, or entertained by my incompetence and inaccuracy. I’m also more and more convinced that I badly flubbed the beginning of the first book and have thereby turned off many readers, forever.
I will keep writing and keep getting better. Some day, I might write something that becomes popular. Then people will read these early books because they’re in my laundry list. But these early books… nobody will ever love them. And that makes me sad, because I love them. When I’m not in the middle of one of these crises. Oh well.
So this morning instead of editing (how many times must I go through this manuscript before I can read it without spotting a correction in every other line?) I got out the scissors and glue and construction paper, and made collages. I made a nighttime scene and a sunny day scene and a rainy day scene. I made half a dozen houses.
Then Mimi showed up and guided me through making an apple tree (like ours), a pear tree (like ours), a big oak tree (like ours), each member of the family, a deer, and the inflatable swimming pool.
I wasn’t much interested in the process or the product, but it was soothing to feel competent and, however briefly, appreciated. Mimi showed her dad each figure as we finished it. Then she wanted to play games on her tablet.
It’s good to have a lot of different things to do.