What it comes down to is that I'm still in love with these characters and this story though. I can't get it out of my head and whether it is good for me or not, I'm not quite ready to let it go. That eight year relationship that I stayed in for way too long.... well if I hadn't I wouldn't have met my husband, so I have to think that things happen for a reason.
What is more important to me than going into the New Year with a project that is ready work perfectly or a new project, is going into the New Year in the right state of mind.
I started last year in a very bad mindset. As I mentioned, my cats were sick with what was a mystery ailment at the time, so I'd barely slept and I was super worried about getting them healthy again in time for me and my husband to go on our honeymoon (which was lovely but also did not go as expected because it was FREEZING in Florida) and I had to work that night. Until 6 am. I started 2010 with a massive headache, feeling tired and stressed and resentful about life. And the rest of my year followed suit.
That's not what I want for myself this year. Right now my cats are healthy (knock on wood!) as are the rest of my loved ones. I have the night off and am planning to spend it at home with my husband, two of my oldest and best friends, and their husbands. We will eat, drink, play board games, laugh and enjoy each other's company. Then on New Year's Day my husband and I will go and have brunch at the place where we went on our first date exactly 5 years ago, New Year's Day 2006. He took me out to celebrate my almost completion of the final draft of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE that my agent was about to put out on submission. It would take over a year to sell. That's where I was five years ago. Something my good friend John McNally reminded me to think about in a pep talk facebook message exchange following my last blog entry. John is an amazing author (seriously, go look him up on Amazon and buy his books. My personal favorite if I had to choose is Book of Ralph) and has been a mentor to me since I was in grad school. And he's been through the ups and downs of publishing like so many of my more experienced writer friends have been.
Five years ago, I was working my butt off on that book about that rock star girl that I had no idea would actually find a market. And I didn't care. I wrote it because I loved the story and the characters.
This past year I've been fretting so much about my career. I've been so depressed by the sales figures on my first two books. I've hated myself for not being a faster writer and being able to write and sell a book a year like some of my peers. I've put so much pressure on myself. I haven't just let myself love story and love writing.
I'm a worrier by nature and I don't know how to stop. I'm also impatient and prone to pessimism, those are without a doubt my worst traits. I don't know how to make a New Year's Resolution to solve that except to say that I'm going to try to worry less, be more patient with myself and my process and be kind to myself. And I'm not going to make lofty goals about my writing this year. I'm a dedicated writer and I know that. As long as I am writing at least 5 to 6 hours a day for 5 days a week this year, that is good enough. We'll see what comes out of it.
And as for the Bartender Book, my solution for now is that we are going on vacation together. We're going to that writing retreat in San Diego from the 8th through the 14th and we're going to try to have a good time together. Because I'm going to work on it for *me*, not to meet a deadline, not for my agent or a potential publisher or even as much as I love you guys, not for you. We're gonna see if we can make it work and perhaps it will be the honeymoon we need. Perhaps I'll see that the magic has fizzled and when I come home, if it's still not working, we'll separate. And I'm not gonna lie, I'm bringing my idea journals and I'll probably look over my notes on my other projects before I go too and if I decide I'll have a better time with one of them there, then that's what I'll do.
But I'm going to write for the love of writing that week in San Diego and hopefully for all of 2011. I hope it will result in something that is good for my career, but if not, I'll deal with that in 2012.
I want to share a song that the lovely Kate Tyler Wall sent me to lift my spirits and it really did. It's from a forthcoming solo album by Dave Hause, the lead singer of The Loved Ones, which is one of the bands that has been a muse for the bartender book. The song is quite appropriate for the time of year and matches my mindset completely. It's called Resolutions. You can here the album version here, but here is a live version I found on YouTube:
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all your support and encouraging comments. I can't tell you how much it means to me to have such good friends and readers online and off. I hope you all have a wonderful 2011! And please feel free to share your resolutions!