After three years and eight months of pouring my heart into my recently completed MS, I woke up this morning having a bit of a wobble.
Insomnia is a curse. It robs you of your much needed restorative sleep, as you spend hours staring at the ceiling, wallowing in a sea of self-doubt.
Is my storyline is strong enough to reel in potential readers? More in importantly, will it hook a sympatico agent, as well as a publisher willing to take a chance on a newbie?
My story is not an epic, like Gone With the Wind (my favourite book). It is not a psychological thriller. There are no superheroes, demigods or magicians, no handmaids or warlocks. It’s about the knock-on-effect a flawed childhood can have on your adult life and it’s a story I felt compelled to tell.
Writing the synopsis has tested my mettle. Each word and sentence I’ve used to squish 93,000 words into a ridiculously hard to write precis, have been rewritten umpteen times and shuffled around the page.
“Attempting to avoid a midlife crisis, Lisa Grant, takes a trip down therapy lane and finishes writing the book she started in her twenties. They Always Look at the Mother First is a spoof about her life, the only way she feels she can revisit her mother’s appalling behaviour.”
Tessa Barrie – Just Say It
By the time dawn came around, my self-belief had taken a nose dive and I was considering giving up writing and doing something less stressful, like bungee jumping. But, writing is a leap into the unknown. You need to constantly keep challenging yourself, bumbling along in the inside lane is not going to get you anywhere.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Test your mettle on a daily basis, you will never know whether how good you are until you take that leap of faith.
Fortunately, my writer’s group meets on Tuesdays so, after an hour and a half with them, I felt buoyed and back on track.
When you have invested so much of your time in something, self-doubt has a nasty habit of creeping up on you, catching you unawares, but you have to keep the faith, never, ever, give up.
Yesterday the literary world suffered a great loss following the death of novelist, essayist, editor, teacher and professor emeritus at Princeton University, Toni Morrison. Her novels were characterised by a visionary force and poetic import, and I hold her words very close to my heart.
“If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”
RIP Toni Morrison 1931-2019