This month’s theme is about damage control. When I saw that in the schedule, I laughed to myself, a sort of bitter, resentful laugh. Let’s just say that my last year has been a target-rich environment for damage control. Rejection, lack of sales, family issues, job struggles, potential financial ruin, cancer, death… It’s been a heck of a year, for sure.
Back in January I think I hit the lowest point of motivation and hope I’ve ever reached as a writer. I covered part of that in this previous Fictorians post. I won’t cover all that again. Thank goodness. But the gist is still relevant to this subject, which is all about dealing with struggles, setbacks and lack of motivation.
Right now I am doing my final proofread of the third and final book in my War Chronicles series. You want struggles? I was supposed to finish this back in February. You want setbacks? I pretty much rewrote the final third of the book three times. One of the lowest points of that entire year was when I finally came to terms with how much help and support I had gotten from my brother, who passed away from cancer last year. It turns out that it is no mere platitude to say that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Really gone. Forever.
So there I was, a month late with my personal deadline for my third book, with my previously planned ending in ruins as I realized it wasn’t the right ending, my main support for working through issues gone, living in a tiny rent house while trying to build my dream home, struggling with a new job as it became painfully obvious that writing wasn’t (yet) going to pay the bills, and dealing with a ream of personal issues better left unsaid here.
I could have packed it in. I could have just said “It’s too much right now, I’ll deal with this after everything settles down.”
But here’s the thing that I’ve learned in my life. Nothing ever settles down. Things rarely, if ever, get easier. And the longer you put things off, the harder it is to pick them up again.
So my means of coping is something I call “The Dory Method.” You know what that is. Everyone knows. But here’s the thing… It works. I just kept at it, a little at a time, worrying at the story issues like a dog with a bone. Until finally, one day, weeks later, I figured out what the story was lacking, and then everything started coming together.
Working full time in a new job, while trying to build a house, and living in a tiny rent house with no privacy is no way to write a book.
But you can do it. If you just… keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep writing.
Edison was right. Success really can be 95% perspiration. Or in the case of writing, 95% perseverance.
And the result? Warlord, coming soon to an online book retailer near you. 🙂