Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Cold Dark Rainy Night

The suspense is killing me.  Nail biting killing me.  Well, I haven't bitten off a finger yet, so that's good I guess.  No holes in my lips or cheeks either.  Mostly, I just want to know the worst so I can make it into the best.  The worst might not even be that bad.  It may in fact, be alright, which is passable.  The problem really is if the best is just alright.  I suppose though, anything can be made better.  That is the thought I must cling to during this dark and rainy night.

It is raining.  Really.  And the night isn't just dark.  My thoughts are.  I'm having cold, dark, rainy thoughts. 

You may be able to guess that I'm getting some feedback from my infamous reader and amateur editor.  It freaks me out.  I'm beside myself waiting for the verdict. Is there anything worth saving? Should it all be thrown in the trash and ritualistically burned? No.  I know there are good ideas in there, even if certain plot points need to be addressed, or characters need to be written out.  I can handle those kinds of things.  I know at least one area that I need to go back to... so that's good to know.  If there is something I would have changed, then I know a second set of eyes will see several more things.  As the author, it is impossible for you to see something without your own lens being applied.  You are the creator.  You are it's mother.  Mothers have a way of glossing over many of the less desirable traits of their children.  Some even blame their child's heinous crimes on innocent bystanders who are convenient scapegoats.  I saw it in my various positions when I worked with kids and youth.  There's always a mother or a grandmother whose daughter or grandson can't do anything wrong.  Of course, they're sadly misinformed and desperately need to have their internal eyes checked.

Sigh.  It's the same thing for those who create.  We can take a break from looking at our precious creations.  We can sleep on it.  We can take a step back and admire them from across the room hoping for depth of perspective and increased awareness, but the truth is, no one can turn your creation upside down except just about anyone else.  Yes, really, just about anyone who is at all knowledgeable about your area of expertise will be able to sit you on your ass and rip apart your creation so you can make it new again, better, stronger, like building muscle mass. 

I am saying all this, not just for you, but to convince myself.  It is a difficult thing to submit your creation to the hands of someone else.  Place it at that person's mercy.  Of course, even if you correct these things, or keep some of them, you're going to have to do it again.  And I don't mean just once.  You'll have to do it several times, with several different people until it is just right.  Until you feel good about the finished product, it will have to be ripped apart over and over again.  Then, the glory comes.  The moment of final judgment is upon it.  The time when a publisher finally says, yes.  This is perfect for us.  We'll help bring this to the full glory it deserves, publish it into a book, then a series, and if it does really well, we'll get you a movie deal.  And of course, you know what that means. You, J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are going to be sitting in a lounge somewhere drinking martinis laughing at the peon authors who sucks hairy balls and reminiscing about the time when you were writing on napkins, fumbling for your journal in the dark at 3 am, and going crazy trying to pay your bills unable to get a 9-5 job. 

At that point, I fully intend to be wearing an amazing red Cavalli gown and some fabulous Louboutin pumps.  I can taste the Cosmo.

Okay, but in the meantime, there is that anticipation.  The suspense because you don't know how something is going to be received.  It's the moment before you get your final paper or exam back.  What grade will you have gotten? It's a foregone conclusion, and if you didn't do a whole section you already know what the result will be.  Still... the stomach butterflies flutter furiously.  There is nothing you can do to stop them.  In the end, it won't be so bad.  You'll handle the result with grace and dignity.  You'll make the adjustments and you'll continue to slog on, because that is what is necessary.  And the Cavalli will come.  Oh yes.  It will.

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