To everyone who reached out to me and sent me well wishes last week – thank you! I did recover from the sinus infection, and I got all my grades turned in on time. I also completed my first pass through THE INQUISITOR’S MARK, making the revisions requested in just over a week … thanks to the patience of my family and a couple snow days. That leaves me another week and a half to read through the manuscript a couple times, tweaking, smoothing, and making sure I addressed all my editor’s issues.
I even got to ski opening day at Jack Frost Mountain with my family this past Saturday. Not all trails were open, and we were confronted more than once with a scene like this:
Hmm … Which trail should we take?
I had to laugh when I saw this, and of course my first thought was how this related to writing. (Everything in life is a metaphor for writing, as far as I’m concerned.)
I worry a lot about my first drafts. I’ve been worrying for months about the first draft of the third book in my series – which keeps getting interrupted for work on the other two books. Any time I build up momentum on it and start getting enthusiastic, I have to put it aside to meet deadlines for proofing Book 1 or revising Book 2. The longer I’m away from it, the more insecure about it I feel. Is it going the right way? Did I make the right choices?
But ultimately, I look at this intersection of ski trails, and I see only one way to go. There’s no taking the other path. (“Maybe, but only with rental skis,” says my husband jokingly.)
My first draft is like that too. For each of my characters, there is only one way to go. It may seem as if they have choices, but they don’t. Not if the story is to move forward. They (and I) have to keep following the path that’s open until we all get to the bottom of the hill.
Later on, the ski resort will open more trails, and there will be alternate routes down this hill. The same goes for revisions on that draft. If I need to change the route a little, I’ll have the opportunity to do so later.
But for now, I need to trust in the process. And gravity. And the fun of getting there.