Monday, July 30, 2007

Painful Writing Itch


I remember when I used to say, "If only I could get one story published--just one--that's all I'd ever need. One book on the shelves. One publication. If I could get a single book published, I'd be satisfied for the rest of my life."

Well, that's a big fat load of hogslop.

After I learned that COOL DADDY RAT had been purchased by Putnam, it started all over again. "If I could just get one more book published, I'd be a legitimate author. I'm only a one-hit wonder with one book. Anybody can do it once. One's a fluke. I've got to have two to be real."

Another enormous lie.

Three is still not enough. So I write and submit and wait. Write, submit, wait. A torturous undertaking, but I'm hopelessly compelled. It's not that my previous books don't matter, because I am delighted to see each one in print. It's a rewarding thing when those illustrations arrive, smelling like crisp paper and ink, and I get to meet my characters for the first time. But I'm learning that nothing ever completely satisfies the writing itch. It's relentless. And what's the invisible rash behind it all? Is it the need for validation and more validation? Is it the idea that "I've got something to say, and I want it seen by as many eyes as possible?" Or is it just the love of creation?

All and none of the above. I can't begin to explain this condition; I've just gotten used to it. It's been around since childhood.

So with these "uffish thoughts" recorded, I'll close for now and go to bed.

Or then again, maybe I'll begin working on my novel.

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