As I said in last Monday's post, I went back in to my blog posts and reworked some of them. I found this next passage in my very second blog post ever. October 30, 2009. Back when I was a shiny new blogger and had no clue what I was doing, had two followers and never thought I could ever be a published author.
The other morning I awoke at 2:13 in a cold sweat. One of my heroes couldn't possibly have been where he was supposed to be and do the things he was supposed to do because at the time he was fighting Napoleon. Talk about crazy. So at 2:19 I was sitting at my computer rewriting chapter 17, and the prologue and half the dialogue in chapter 8. I suppose I could have waited until my daughter went to school to do it, but ... I didn't.
This is why I am a writer? To be tortured with angst and wake up at 2:13?
No. I am a writer because I have stories to tell. They might not be Hemingway or Faulkner or Flannery O'Conner stories but they are mine and I want to tell them. I want someone to say to me, just once, "I LOVED your book, it was FANTASTIC! I never wanted it to end." This is why I am a writer.
Okay, so just wow. Writing the above, I could never imagine that I would come as far as I have. I have gotten letters and reviews where people said they loved my book. It's a heady feeling. Almost the best feeling in the world (apart from the moment my daughter was born safe and sound).
And yes, I am still tortured. I still wake up at ungodly hours, sweat soaked and wondering if I've done enough research to support my novels. I don't think that will ever change. It's part of the writer's essence, I think. Hemingway and Fitzgerald tortured themselves constantly. Did it make them better writers? I think so.
I think when you place your heart soul and guts into something you have no choice but to be tortured. You want it to be as good as it can be.
Tell me -- How tortured are you? Do you wake up terrified over some aspect of your book? Or do you let it slide until the next time you get to it?
Anne Gallagher (c) 2013