Quicksand Book

This time the quicksand isn’t in the journey ahead, it’s in the book I’m writing. And no, I’m not exaggerating. I’m SURE my book is composed entirely of quicksand because every time I open the damn document I get sucked in. And not in a good way. More like a ‘help, help I’m drowning!’ way.

I don’t know why this is. It may have something to do with the fact that this is the first contracted book I have to write and maybe the pressure is getting to me. Or maybe it’s the fact that I never thought the first book of this series would actually BE a series so having to write two extra stories, with conflicts I thought up quite quickly so I could get the outlines to my editor (oooh secret thrill!), is making me feel a little disconnected from it. Or maybe it’s just that I know people are going to read this book. It won’t be my little secret this time. Other people will read it, not just an editor. And they’ll be able to form their own opinion about whether they liked it or not. Whether I’m a good writer or not. And to be honest, that’s freaking me out just a bit.

I think when you’re aiming for publication, you get so set on just getting something accepted and you forget that once it is accepted, people will be reading your book. Oh you can kid yourself that only friends and family will read it but the fact is someone, somewhere will buy your book and read it. A complete stranger. Eeeek!

But then that’s the whole idea right?  You don’t chase publication because you think you’re a crap writer and no one should ever read what you wrote. You chase publication because you think people should read the stories you tell. Because you want to share them. I think it was Yvonne Lindsey who asked me one RWNZ meeting, when I shared how scary it was to send something off after you’ve been rejected lots, whether I thought other people deserved to read my stories. And I remember how struck I was by the word deserved. And how my gut reaction was ‘Yes. Yes they do.’

I think I need to hold onto that thought as I continue to push through the quicksand book.

So what about you? Are you chasing publication? If so, why? Do you think other people deserve to read your stories?? Come on now, don’t be shy. A writer has to have some ego otherwise we wouldn’t be sending our stuff out right? 😉

10 thoughts on “Quicksand Book”

  1. Really looking forward to holding one of your books, Jackie. Seeing it on my kindle is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and not too long to wait now!
    Going from partials to fulls, then fulls to sales, edits, reviews etc, is nerve wracking, but when you get a good review its such a high… woo!

  2. Jackie, thank goodness. It was agonising, watching someone as good as you not getting anywhere – seemingly. Very interesting to see who came forth with clear, tangible goodies. So very pleased for you, and looking forward to your trajectory from here!

  3. Sally – Hehe. No, only another 11 months. 🙂 Yeah, a good review must be awesome! I hope I get one!
    BTW, I have The Morning After on my iPad. Loving it!

    Chris – Awww, thanks heaps! Yeah, I’m pretty rapt with how its turned out.

  4. Hey Jackie! Ha, I’m glad I’m not alone in the quicksand feeling. That exact same thing happened to me…it felt like ‘stage fright’. All of a sudden when the WIP was sold-it became that much harder to write! I did get it done though…and so will you 🙂 I can’t wait to read your books!!!!

  5. I get the quicksand feeling Jackie, and I’m not even contracted! In answer to your question, yes, I am definitely chasing publication (although sometimes it feels like I’m forgetting to run). I worry about not having more books written, on the off chance that an editor likes my current ms and asks for something else. I don’t want to have to say ‘Uh – I don’t really have anything else that’s quality’ and have them say ‘Well, we’ll have to reject you because you’re not prepared’.

    Do other people deserve to read my work? I like to think so. Do I deserve to capture the preciousness of their imaginations with my writing? I’d like to think that too.

    Good luck with your WIP. I suspect you’re going to have to ignore the fact that you’re contracted (as best you can). Never forget that you’re writing for YOU before anyone else. If you put others before yourself, then you’ll be so confused trying to figure out what readers want, that it could come out stilted and stale. The most engaging writing happens when you’re caught up in your own story. xx

  6. Victoria – hehe. Yay for not being alone! I think for me it’s not feeling like a story is ‘mine’ if that makes sense. I’ve kind of got over it now though. Glad to hear you got over your stage fright. I guess I”ll have to pull my socks up and get over mine.
    Oh and the feeling’s mutual re the books!

    Madeline – well, I know I deserve to read your work. 🙂 And as for the ed rejecting you because you’re not prepared, that won’t happen. You just say ‘of course I have something else’. Then you go ahead and write it. 🙂
    And you’re so right. I am writing it for me first. Y’know, I’m going to put that on my PC because I’ve forgotten that. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Hi Jackie
    I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about ‘people’ reading my books – I’m too busy angsting over an editor reading them!

    So yes – that must be really strange in a wonderful way – you are writing for the masses now.

    Really looking forward to reading all your books…

    Nina x

  8. I know just how you feel. I pitched to Engtangled publishing and now they’ve requested a full mss. Yikes, it took me two days to come down, as it was the first request I’d had in four years. Now I find myself bogged down in polishing the thing until it gleams. I think I’m just scared to hit the send button.

  9. Nina – yes, I never thought about that part of it either. Until then you have to and it’s like ‘eeek!’ And thanks. Be nice to have a reader or two. 😉

    Karen – fabulous re your full requeset! Well done you! Yeah, it’s hard to push that button. But once you find yourself changing words pointlessly, then it’s time to send it away. Good luck, huh? You can do it!

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