I’ve found that even if you have a great idea for a book, there isn’t an easy A-Z path until the finish line. No. It’s more like chasing your tail, eating your way through the kitchen and wondering why you’ve chosen to do something as crazy as being a writer.
“Home” is a mess right now — I’m slogging through the pages, deleting great swaths because it’s either repetitive or just sucky. That’s something you’ll often hear as you read your work: “This sucks, this sucks, what is this shit?” Then you’ll pour yourself another bowl of granola (or bourbon) and keep reading.
I call it the “slog” and if there’s a time that I want to give up on my books, it would be at this point. I like order. I like neat. Not meandering sentences, paragraphs that fall off into nothing or lines that make me look like I never graduated 10th grade English.
You will meet the “slog”. Frustration doesn’t mean that you have a shitty book on your hands. It means that you are a writer and have to craft beauty out of chaos. It takes a careful eye at this stage because there will be lines that are pure poetry, surrounded by weeds. The beauty you need to keep — and if you’re nervous about weed-wacking, save your crappy lines in another folder titled “Crappy Lines” for future use (you won’t use them but it might make you feel better when your draft is 10,000 words lighter).
Part of the reason I started my GoFundMe campaign for “Home” was not only for the support but to keep me accountable. Even within the slog, I can see “Home” being formed and it’s exciting to watch. There’s a book in there somewhere! Keep on slogging, writer . . . because it will get easier.