As I write this, I am about 99% finished with revisions for CHERRY. Which means one of two things: either A) I’m nearly done, or B) I’m never going to finish. As of late, I’ve been opting for B, struggling to find just the right words to end my story. I’m seeking the perfect mix of . . . I don’t know. Pathos and Logos, with a touch of Ethos? Something to tip the scales from ‘good’ to ‘really good’ to ‘really fucking good’ to. . .
Point being, still no cigar.
Part of the difficulty is due to the pressure I’m putting on myself. I’ve said it before: I have to deliver the goods. Agent X offered that R&R at the tail end of last year and it’s now. . . yep. Take a look at the calendar, kk. The clock is ticking.
But that’s just part of the problem. There’s something else I’ve been grappling with, something distasteful and insidious; something I am loathe to admit to myself, let alone anybody else. Even now, I’m not sure I’m going to continue this post. For real, I’m hesitating, thinking I should write about something else, something light and airy that won’t tarnish others’ opinion of me, or me of myself. Truth is, I can’t recall reading another blog post by any other writer who publically, willingly admitted to feeling–
Hell with it.
It started a couple of weeks ago, as I was perusing AbsoluteWrite. Seemed like every other click of the mouse took me to another thread started by a fellow writer who couldn’t wait to share good news. Author X just got an agent and was thrilled beyond belief. Author Y just nailed another book deal. Author Z was swooning over another 5-star review on Amazon.
And there it was–an unpleasant twinge as foreign as it was disconcerting: resentment. I resented those happy writers, posting their happy news. Wtf, man? I couldn’t even finish my book.
My resentment quickly morphed into something even uglier: jealousy, which I immediately tried to squelch with logic: the fact that other writers were succeeding had absolutely nothing to do with my own perceived failures. Intellectually, I knew there was zero correlation between the two; ergo, it made zero sense to compare myself to my fellow writers, and even less sense to resent their own, hard-earned, good fortune. No matter. In my heart of hearts, I resented them. Big time. I even–
No, I’m not even going there right now. Some things are better left unsaid. But this I will say: to anybody reading this post, This isn’t me.
And yet, here I am. I don’t understand it. Where is this shit coming from? The unfamiliar bubble of bile that rose in my throat two weeks ago came out of nowhere, and now it’s lodged there and I can’t seem to swallow it down. I don’t like this feeling at all; don’t like this side of myself. Worse yet, it’s settling on me, becoming way too familiar. Is this what I’m going to be now: the bitter, unpublished writer who laments her failures and begrudges others their successes? I want to deny those ugly thoughts but they keep whispering back to me, turning my heart brittle. Even as I turn my head to listen.