Truly, the one thing that we have the least of--time--is the one thing needed to not only makes ends meet( and succeed) but also to write (and be successful at it). Alas. But the upshot is that I've restarted projects, dusted a few off and indeed started new stuff. So, this past weekend has been all about getting back in there.
It helps, of course, to have a conversation with one's agent wherein it's discussed the timelines and schedules regarding manuscript submissions. It's a boost, to say the least. But that said, now comes another round of edits and a flurry of phone calls.
Why do we do this? I, too, dislike rhetorical questions but I felt the need. There are easier ways to make a living. The romantic ideal of being an author or novelist is fading rapidly; what we thought that kind of life could be like is based on 20th century ideals (at least it is for me). No, my heroes were charlatans and drunks, fornicators and thieves. Why would anyone ask for this?
But looking at that list, I begin to think who isn't a fornicator, charlatan, drunk or thief? Sounds like some of the coworkers I've known over the years.
Faith. That's what it really comes down to. Faith and honest reading. If you want to be a writer, you write but you read, too. You tap into that muse and you emulate your heroes. Hopefully you have enough sense to leave the four writer's virtues--thievery, charlatanism, drunkenness, and fornication--at your desk when you venture forth into public.
If when you've succeeded in a manuscript and have gone through the misery of trying to get an agent, then the rush happens. I felt this way with Dryline Rhapsody, a manuscript that took nearly a year to write (mostly on the weekends or whenever I could carve out a couple hours). I had a few screenplays and a previous novel manuscript at my disposal, so I was well-armed to pitch. And it worked. But then the waiting happens, and I think in this comes the doubt.
I think it's only natural to doubt one's abilities to make a sale, let alone making a living from this. Consider the Dan Browns and J.K. Rowlings of the world, and the enormous revenues generated from those sales. The odds are stacked against you if you're genre-writing (which I'm not). Indeed, sooner or later, the wizards and the symbologists will fade; I cringe when I see the Harry Potter movie trailers online; is it possible to keep that story going? But God bless her for doing it.
No, my storytelling is far more interesting. I don't know that I could develop something like those books and it could very well be that they never write anything to that "caliber" again (we should be so lucky!) but you do get the sense that it's time for something else, something that was spawned of the Four Virtues. And it's your book, and mine.