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Writing is Easy… Just Open a Vein

I know all of you think I am so self-confident (or at least I let my ego run wild at times) that I have no insecurities. Well just ask my wife or my Muse, Willow. They live with me and know differently. I know it is hard to believe, but I am constantly wondering. Am I good enough? Am I wasting my time? Well I found the perfect group for me. It is called the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, with several hundred member, and is led by the fearless and inspirational Alex J. Cavanaugh. The first Wednesday of every month we give ourselves the luxury of sharing these insecurities and supporting each other. So to confront my self-doubt and chase my deepest writing fears into the netherland, below is my monthly opening of the vein.

I am nearly halfway through my First Draft.  I mean I don’t know exactly how many words the First Draft will actually be, but I have been told that an Adult Mainstream book is roughly 90,000 to 100,000 words. Even though this is the first in a four book (at least four) series I am estimating this first book will be around 100K words (or a little over). So given that I am nearly 1/2 way through the First Draft. The sad thing is I am told, by those who have been through it, is that I might end up throwing out 20K to 30K of the first draft (20% to 30%) when I go through Revision. Though on the upside I am also told that I will add back in 20K to 30K words. Which is great, but it means that I will need to do almost 30K of new writing, so rewrite like 1/3 of the book over again. My heart sinks.

My insecurity about all this is I can’t see how I will finish the first book in another 50K words. It seems like every time I start to write a simple “short” scene it turns into three times what I planned. So it keep creeping up with every scene. Also I have heard it said that you need to grab the Reader’s attention with some heavy action in the first chapter or two. Yet I was nearly 30K words into my MS (around Chapter 11) before I had the first person injured or killed. Well back in Chapter 5 I did have a Flashback with a lot of action and people fighting, so maybe that will count.

Bottom-line is that I am a bit scared that with the word creepage, I am writing a lot of, well a lot of verbiage – which the dictionary defines as “overabundance or superfluity of words, as in writing or speech; wordiness; verbosity.” And verbose is defined as “characterized by the use of many or too many words; wordy

I have been told my a number of authors that this is okay since I have a fairly lengthy series, and the couple of Alpha Readers that have been reading my First Draft tell me that all the words is working, so I shouldn’t be too concerned, but for some reason I am. This is the insecurity that I think many Writers succumb to . Every little thing that they do is analyzed and questioned. If you look at the statistics regarding the number of people that want to be a Writer and the number that actually get published, it makes becoming a Pro Baseball Player, or a Hollywood Star seem like an almost sure thing.

Lots of Writers say they don’t care if they ever get published. The journey is the real joy. And many other cliches. But in reality, every one of us want the acknowledgement and the confirmation that we we are truly an Author, not just a Writer. We tell ourselves that being published isn’t important because many of us never will get that confirmation. But we all continue to Write. As one author said for all of us, Writing is Easy, Just sit down at the Typewriter and Open a Vein. Why is that a true statement? Because we pour everything we have on to the page realizing that it will most likely only be read by relatives and friends who will pretend that they actually read the entire manuscript. Yet we will still open up and empty the entails of our soul onto the paper or screen hoping someone will read it and somehow, someway relate to a character or the story in some remote way.

So what does that all mean in terms of this month’s Insecure Writer’s Group? Well I think, at least in my wishful mind, is that I will keep writing and following the process that I have learned until I finish my First Draft. That I will go through the Revision process. And in the end I will, like all other Writers, hope, pray, make every effort that I can — to get published. Will I? I don’t know. But in the end I will give it my best effort and if I don’t make it with this book. Well the nice thing is that I can write another one, and another, and another one — and some day, some young editor willing to take a risk will read one of my manuscripts and say “You know, this is just what I was looking for.” You never know?

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