Good morning, friends. So, with school back in session, I'm walking at least 2 miles a day. Usually in the morning, thankfully. Heat stroke doesn't appeal to me. When I'm not doing a Dalek impression and saying to myself, "REHYDRATE! REHYDRATE!" I've been working on my new project. As of this post, the new novel is sitting pretty at around 14k words and humming quite nicely. This project is a six book story arc with at least 3 short stories to go as companion pieces. I've got most of the larger arcs plotted out, and I call the series "Etudes in C#". Genre: Urban Fantasy. We're playing with gods, demi-gods, mythical creatures and technomancy. It's a blast, kids. (Does that mean my elevator pitch is, "It's Anansi Boys meets Tron"?)
Anyway, the honeymoon is over and C# and I are really into the nitty gritty. Forming a rough draft can be difficult, especially if you've a) been away from novel writing for a while or b) have been editing polished work. Rough drafts can seem so... rough! They're crude representations not even suitable for the title "book". I don't know if you other writers experience this, but when I'm getting into a new rough draft, I hit a spot (usually about 30 pages in) where I just want to scrap it and start over. Rather than telling the goddamn story, I'm worried about things like pacing, voice, world building... which is good, but it's counterproductive.
Here's the thing. Second guessing those first 20 pages? It's a defense mechanism. It's your tender ego fighting for its life. If you never finish the novel, you never have to get rejected. Rough drafts are for writing. Get Patient 0 out of your head, then let your inner editor spank the fuck out of that monkey. Spend an editing pass focusing solely on voice, another on world, another on pacing...repeat ad infinitum until that baby shines and you can see your reflection in it.
So, this morning, on my walk home I was jamming to shuffled tunes on my iPod and pondering the scene I wrote last night...where I want to take it today... should I do some edits today. The track changed to Crystal Method's remix of "Roadhouse Blues" by the Doors. (I fucking love this song. Both versions.) First words you hear? "Keep your eyes on the road."
I smiled and looked up from the sidewalk to see a truck with detailing that said, "Trust the process."
Coincidences happen. You can't always look for signs and portents, but I'll accept that as a nudge from the Universe.
So, if you'll excuse me... C# and I have a date.