Listening to: The patrons of the awesome little cafe I frequent, out on the patio, on one of the last nice days of the year!
It's funny to look back, after you're finally done.
I really didn't think Freya (now tentatively titled Grim Light) ever had a chance. When I first started writing it in February, a few elements of the idea were different, but not markedly so. And I really didn't see where it could go. I remember asking TH, in the car one winter night, if he thought it was okay to just write something because I enjoyed it, even if I didn't see a future for it. Writing for writing's sake, essentially. He, of course, thought it was fine. He thinks everything I do is fine (grin). So I worked on it, and then I stopped and picked up something else...and then I picked it up again, and so on.
When I chose to focus on Grim Light (still getting used to that!) after I started my job in June--because I didn't really think working full-time and writing three or four different books all at once seemed like a good idea--I was very uncertain. My writing time was going to be severely reduced, so I wanted to be sure that whatever project I chose wouldn't be a waste of time. I honestly think it was a combination of my love for the book and other people's love for it that made me choose it, despite its inherent uncertainty.
So to finish it was a more fulfilling accomplishment than any other book I've written (this is four, she said sadly and triumphantly). After the initial rush wore off, I looked back to February, and how hopeless it all seemed. Heck, I looked back to this past Sunday, when it also seemed hopeless. And I truly couldn't believe it. Not that it had been hopeless--no, I remembered that feeling all too well--but that I'd done it. That I'd taken this idea that initially looked like a dead-ringer for a dead-end, and managed to find a way out. That I'd ever had enough faith, in those early days, to keep going, instead of abandoning it for one of my more promising ideas. That I hadn't had enough faith, all those times I did abandon it for a while, and had almost missed this chance. It seems like a minor miracle to me.
Sometimes, you have to find hope even when something seems impossible. Sometimes, you have to write just because you love your characters, whether you think they'll reach the end or not. Sometimes, you just have to turn off that voice of uncertainty and write for the sheer joy of it.
Sometimes, you just have to write.
If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving