Last week when I was searching Livejournal for a photo I'd posted long ago, I came across an old "WOE IS ME" post. Reading it again nearly three years later, I had to laugh. I was whining pathetically in this post, but I also was spot on with my predictions:
All right, so my book is on submission right now and it is pure torture to wait for news. I am getting crazier each day and this morning it struck me that I'm verging into a mild depression.
And you know what? Even if the planets align, God smiles down from heaven, and miracle of miracles my book actually sells (*knocks on wood*) -- this worrying WILL NEVER END! Because I will worry about edits. And I will worry about cover art. And I will worry about publicity. And then when it's out I will worry about bad reviews and my friends hating it and whether or not it's even on bookstore shelves, and whether or not it's selling at all.
So I just need to GET A GRIP. This is me telling myself to GET OVER IT. This submission thing is out of my hands right now. What I need to do is buckle down and get my outline hammered out for the next story. That much is in my control. This maudlin crap has GOT TO STOP!
(By the way, that book didn't sell, so it's a good thing I DID hammer out the next story. Desperation is a great motivator.)
My muse has been quiet lately. Perhaps it's been drowned out by all the doubting, worrying voices in my head. Thank goodness for writing conferences because I really needed some inspiration to kick me in the butt. This past weekend I attended the NC/NE Texas SCBWI conference in Dallas. It was a fabulous gathering of writerly people! Great presenters and charming, passionate attendees. The energy in the conference rooms really perked up my mojo.
Jennifer Laughran AND stalked her during her presentations.
Tammi Sauer give her keynote speech, "Just Do It! Channeling Your Inner Scarlett O'Hara." (Hooray for Okie writers!)
Bruce Coville's talk, "At the Corner of Plot and Character."
(If only I could tuck these three in my pocket for whenever I needed them!)
Ultimately, what I took away from the presenters and attendees is that I just need to work harder. Write more. Write BETTER. I've been in a lull, partly because I've been doing promotion but also because I've been waiting for edits. Time to snap out of that. Time to stop spinning my wheels, to stop being scared, and just do the thing I love to do: WRITE.
And I will! But first I have to drive to TN, see family, and speak at the Southern Festival of Books. I'm appearing with Victoria Schwab on Saturday, 4:30 pm in Room 29. Come see us, y'all!
Teachers Rock! by Todd Parr
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