Putting Your Money Where Your Stupid Mouth Is
TODAY’S BREW: Still celebrating the 5 star review, so I think there may be a Cinnamon Dolce Latte in order.
I’m a bit of a jerk, as you all may know. Kristen is a bit of a girl. When she acts like a girl, my jerk tells her so, and when I overstep my jerk bounds, her Feelings side bring me down to size.
I’m on Super High right now over Running Home’s cover, and the edits, and the fact….yes, FACT, that it will be available any moment now. Right, Roy? ANY MOMENT NOW. The book got a 5 star review from Opening Line Literary ‘Zine, and I have never felt like that in my life. The Harpy edits are still progressing, slower than I want, but I have to give my brain a little time occasionally.
Still got an idea for a book, though. Kristen made me say it out loud on Undead Duo Live on Monday night. No, I gave no details because I’m still rolling it over in my heart, feeling it out. But I have this thing, where if I come up with an idea for a book, I act on that bitch. Rarely do I put it aside. So I’ve come up with a bit of structure for it, and I’m feeling it. I am.
Leave it to Chynna Blue Scott, Jolene Haley and Josh Hewitt, incredibly supportive Twitter friends, to drag out of me what this idea is. I emailed them my thoughts, and they loved it. That got me excited AGAIN, and then, then I sent it to Kristen.
Her response was “I’m not into it.” She said it feels like it’s been done. She is going to hate me for this post, by the way.
I got immediately fucking pissed. We were sitting on the same couch when it happened, and we didn’t talk for an hour. We made up, we always do, and I could have not taken such offense, and she could have been more gentle. I’ve become so accustomed to positive encouragement, and haven’t had anyone tell me my idea sucked for a long time. And the high sank at the speed of….me running towards a pizza.
I thought what the fuck have we been preaching about vampires not being a done deal, and doing them in a unique way that nobody has seen before for? Why are we saying anything you write is worth writing because you created it and your idea is unique no matter what? What a bunch of bullshit, if at the end of the day the gut reaction isn’t “what kind of spin are you putting on this to make it yours?” This talk of having a voice that stands out in a saturated genre is just talk.
And then I got annoyed that I wasn’t standing behind my own convictions. Just because someone says it might not be the best thing they ever read, does not mean you buckle and move on. Write what you want to write, and damn writing for someone. I’m passionate about my work, and that is what will make it stand out. You can’t be passionate about something that you don’t stand behind. Of course I’m sensitive about people liking my work, I don’t care what anybody says, we all are. But after I get over the little tidal wave of criticism, I stand up and jump into the waves. Because fuck it, writer’s gonna write.
WRITE THE BOOK YOU HAVE TO WRITE OR EVERYTHING BREAKS.
This is my favorite quote, and it works in a couple of ways. Write what itches you, or you’re going to feel it forever, in a bad way that no amount of hydrocortisone can fix. But also, if you find you don’t have to write it, chalk it up to a cool idea for another time, and write the book that breathes fire into you.
I don’t know which one of these categories this book falls into. But if Kristen hadn’t challenged me on it, I wouldn’t have the urge to dig deeper into the roots of why I want to write it. That purpose in writing it, that is what makes a book a good one. That tangible emotion that sweats onto the page from an author who had to get the story out. Otherwise, a good idea is just a good idea, and not a living, breathing thing begging to be let out.
I still don’t know if this book needs to be written by me or not, but now I have the kick in the ass to find out.