writing is a leap of faith...or a really painful fall
Welcome to the Weekly Guest Spotlight.
Tonight’s guest is writer Lorca Damon. For more about Lorca, click on her photo to visit her website.
Writing a book sucks. There, I said it. I’ve done it six times and it’s just plain horrible. I cry, I scream, I forget to feed important things like dogs and children. It’s carnage. So why do I keep doing this to myself?
Notice I didn’t say, “I’ve published six books.” I’ve WRITTEN six books. There’s a difference. PUBLISHING six books means I have an audience and a fan base and I care what they think of my work. WRITING six books means I just have way too much free time between midnight and four in the morning.
But here’s the truth: I didn’t write them for you, I wrote them for me. Wow, that sounded ugly even while it was still in my head. But it’s true.
Emily Dickinson apparently wrote tons of stuff on scraps of paper that she shoved in the back of a drawer so no one would ever see them. Harper Lee might be writing new books every week even as we speak, whole volumes of words that we may never see until she dies and even then I hope someone has the good sense to burn all of them before someone can try to make a buck off it.
Those women were writers. They wrote because it felt good or because it kept them from having whole conversations with the voices in their heads at all hours of the day or night. I write because I need someone to read what the voices are telling me to do, then stop me from going through with it.
I learned this really super lesson from my eleven-year-old, of all people. I was lying on the living room floor surrounded by my notes and my laptop. I have no idea why pencils were strewn all around me since I clearly had my laptop, but it added to the writerly look of things. Go with it.
Anyway, I’m lying on the floor in exactly the same position I’d be in if I had just fallen from a really great height. Life has no meaning anymore, I’m on the edge of the cliff, all that stuff. I moaned a little, just for tortured writer effect.
“I’m so tired of these characters!” I cried. “They’re. So. Whiny!”
“So kill them,” my daughter said with a shrug. “It’s your book. Kill them.”
“I can’t! The sequel will suck if I kill them! Waaaahaaa!”
“So don’t kill them. It’s still your book.” And she left the room with the last can of Mountain Dew.
But she was right. It’s my book. Not the industry’s, not the publisher’s, not the audience’s. It’s mine. I wrote it and I like it. And maybe no one will ever read it, if that’s not what’s meant to be. But at least I got it out of my head.
Lorca Damon is a teacher and a YA (Young Adult) writer, currently working on her sixth novel, but please don’t go looking for either of the first five yet since, (acccording to Lorca) no one thought they were any good. Her mother thought the first one was lacking but had nothing but the highest praise for the second one. Thus, her mother has offered to write a review for her hometown newspaper.
You can follow her on Twitter @LorcaDamon. Feel free to Friend her on Facebook since she doesn’t know how it works and therefore cannot stop you. A third cousin of someone she went to junior high school with posts her horoscope on her Facebook wall every day and she is powerless to stop him.
On a side note, Lorca has tossed her hat into the arena in the Daywalker contest. Check out her entry as Victoria here.
Until the next time…I’ll be looking for next week’s guest (could it be you?)