I forget every time I start something new just how hard it can be down in the trenches of a book.
I remember it differently, of course. I only remember that it must have been easy. (It could not have been this hard, could it?)
I look back on finished projects and remember typing the last words and a feeling sadness in my soul that my time with it is over. I remember working on the book like I was in love with it and all we did for the months that it took to get written was dance in fields of daisies (cushy daisies, of course) and make lovey-dovey eyes at each other.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I know this because in addition to writing my books and blogging, I play around in journals a lot. I also keep a document for each book in which I just free-write a lot about how the book is going, where I want it to go, why I can't seem to get there and all that. Oh, the angst!!! You would think I was a new teacher with the roughest class ever (been there, done that) or having a three day labor trying to pump out a giagantic baby (been there, done that). It's so hard. Why? Why? Why?
But I did. I went back and taught more kids (more than 20 years of teaching) had more babies (3 daughters altogether) and wrote more books (lots).
Because our minds are kind and we forget the hardest parts. We forget the self-doubt, the wondering if we have been fooling-ourselves-and-perhaps-we-shouldn't-be-doing-this-at -all
thoughts. We only remember the wonderful feeling of looking into the faces of children who couldn't read before they came to you, or holding your baby for the first time, or typing the last words on a story and knowing it is the best thing you have ever written.
So, the forgetting is great. It allows us the time, distance and hope to try to do it again.
It must not have been that hard, right? Daisies and lovey-dovey looks and all.
But then, there are days like today. AAAUUUGH! It was never this hard before! What am I doing wrong?? What? What? It was easy writing the last book, right?
I am glad for the journal entries which remind me that it was and is hard work to write a book.
But I made it through that book, which is now something I really love.
I can make it through this, too.
(So can you, even if you have never taught kids or had a baby....I promise.)