I’ve written before on the topic of writers and validation.
That previous post was related to which form of publishing one might chose to pursue (self-publishing vs. traditional), and what that choice may or may not say about one’s need for acknowledgement by writing industry professionals, which in turn may or may not relate to the strength of one’s self esteem.
And just like that, I’m nearly two-thirds of the way through the rewrite of my WIP.
I should rephrase that: I’m two-thirds through the second draft of my WIP, with an as-yet-undetermined number more to go after that.
And it’s not exactly “just like that” either, for I’ve been hard at work on this draft since January. This has involved, in addition to multiple rewrites of chapters one through three, a first crack at the additional 15 chapters I’ve completed to date some of which were in much better shape than others.
Years ago, I blogged about a common big question that often arises in writing.
Namely, the question of when you can properly call yourself a writer.
At the time, I’d just found “The Answer to the Big Question” in my house. This was a list explaining the various circumstances that make one a writer that I’d printed from the internet years earlier when I too was uncertain on this matter.
I’ve now been actively revising my WIP for about three-and-a-half months.
I have to admit, I haven’t progressed nearly as far as I’d anticipated, to date having reworked only seven chapters out of a total 31. And that’s not counting the fact I have to go over chapters 1-3 all over again.
If I were to equate the current stage of my writer’s journey with that of the classic Hero’s Journey, I’d now find myself at stage sometimes referred to as “The Belly of the Whale”.
Which, in my opinion, is perhaps the most perilous of all the stages – even more so than the main confrontation of the story’s climax – for at this stage, the hero still doesn’t have a complete sense of what s/he is up against; a true, Rumsfeldian “unknown unknown”.
I’m not a follower of astrology or other form of pop culture personality typing, but sometimes, it seems, these systems follow me.
I was born under the astrological sign of Sagittarius. People of this sign are said to highly gregarious, to have an incurable wanderlust, and also to be notoriously distractible – to the point that they rarely complete what they start.
Even though I’ve never felt I embodied any of these hallmark Sagittarian traits, the presence of the last one in the above list has always caused me some distress.
Writing a novel is one of the scariest things I’ve ever attempted.
And I’ve done some scary things in my life:
I’ve moved to two different provinces on my own, both times having no prior friends or family present when I arrived.
I’ve come face-to-face with a bull moose during rutting season.
I’ve spend 24 straight hours in the woods on a fasting solo sit. (The fear in this isn’t possible animal encounters at night, but rather the act of sitting silently for hours with nothing to distract you but your own thoughts.)
I’ve risked – and received – rejection asking guys way out of my league out on dates.
Just to name a few. As my father is fond of paraphrasing from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The brave will only die once.”