Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Gots Mad Coping Skills

Daily Stats
Words: 1200
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: chocolate-covered figs (they sound weird but they're painfully good!)
Reality TV: Something so horrid I can't admit it openly (damn you VH1)

I don't really know very many other struggling writers. There's my uber-talented sister, of course. And a girl I met in one of my writing classes. But that's it. I suppose I could delve into some online community of aspiring writers and sit on a message board all day so I can spout off, but knowing me I'd spend all my time doing that and be too tired to write anything useful.

But the one thing I wish I had is a cluster of fellow writer friends who were at the exact same point that I am. One book completed that they're desperately trying to sell. That way we could swap stories of our harrowing adventures into the literary world, and perhaps share our coping skills.

You need coping skills when you do this kind of thing, because it is the most emotionally draining thing ever. Just imagine, you spend countless hours for months on end writing your book. Then you go back and spend countless hours for months on end re-writing your book. You pour your heart, soul, bank account (too many trips to Starbucks) and waning sanity into it. Then, when you're at the point where every time you read it you either want to throw up and/or cry tears of joy, you turn around try and make other people love it. And nine times out of ten...they won't.

Now, I have somewhat refined my coping skills. My favorite is to hide in bed with a pillow over my head, screaming "why, God, why?". Another favorite is to eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting. Then there are the things I tell myself I should do to cope. "Get a great new haircut" (I may be unpublished, but I have look damn good). "Lose twenty pounds" (I may be unpublished, but I just fit into a size 4!). And, of course, the dreaded "write something new".

I love to write, so calling it dreadful may seem strange. But it's sort of like dating. Sometimes it takes a little time to get back out there after your heart has been stomped to bits. In a way, you have to force yourself to do it, and the first few dates will surly be horribly abysmal pieces of garbage that you will never want to think of again. But eventually, you'll stumble upon some decent ones that will make you laugh and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And then there will be the one. The one that grabs you. The one that you lay awake at night thinking about. The one that could be something.

Of course, I've been convinced I've found "the one" about 987 times since I put operation "write something new" into effect. Sometimes things sound great in your head, but they look like complete tripe on paper. Again it's like dating. You meet someone and think they're the cat's meow, but then you go out with them and discover they have a severe mucus problem and that they still live with their parents. Or, things are going well, then right in the middle of dinner, they ask the waiter out (yes, I said waiter.)

So, fingers crossed that I will soon find "the one". Or, "the one for now". Or maybe "the one long enough to keep me away from whole cheesecakes".

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