I know I’ve said this before over the years, but for some reason I’m really aware of the steps these days. For example, the other day I took time to get my writing space clear the night before I planned to write. As I looked around the space and thought about where I would be the next day, I felt really good. I was excited about what I would create and my mind was already turning over possibilities for Fade Away.
What I Used to Do
In the past, I would enjoy the moment of creating, but then my mind would jump to: Will my agent think it’s as awesome as I do? (mood shifts to uncertainty) Will a publisher want it? (mood shifts from uncertainty to doubt. They passed on the last one I sent after accepting the one before that.) What if it doesn’t sell? (Mood definitely dropping.) They may not take my next book. (Now I’m feeling downright anxious.)
And here’s one of the biggest time-wasters, one I’m a little embarrassed to confess to, but I promised myself (and you) that I’d be more open (it’s similar to my Submission Obsession):
Depending on where my thoughts led me, I’d pull out my calculator and ask questions like: If I got such-and-such advance, how many books would I have to sell at such-and-such price to earn back said advance? I wonder how much Oliver Jeffers has made on the crayon book I love so much? How many books do you have to sell to be on a bestseller list? My mind would continue to wander down Crazy Lane and then I’d get on the Internet and try to find answers to some of these questions. Yes, I would spend time—time I could have been writing—calculating numbers that didn’t even exist yet, let alone really matter. Good grief.
What I Do Now
With a picture book manuscript that recently went out on submission, I enjoyed each draft, because each one was so much fun to write! I would finish a draft absolutely giddy with excitement because the feedback from my agent had sparked something that took me to silly and hilarious places. I stayed in the experience of creating and felt happy and content and it was/is fabulous. And the bonus was that bubbly feeling spilled over into other parts of my life, so anyone I interacted with got the benefit of Happy Denise. 🙂
Back on Sanity Drive
A lot of it goes back to what I said in my post about loving the writing; when all is said and done—if I had everything I imagine a bestselling career would bring me—I’d still want to write. That says a lot. That means a lot.
So I enjoy the process and I don’t get ahead of myself. What about you?