Up and Down and Up…

The writer in me has been on a mini emotional roller coaster this week. Perhaps other writers can relate.

Last year, I was hard at work. I finished The Exception, wrote and created marketing materials for it, deployed a new website and blog. Not to mention, I ran a household and held down a thirty-six hour a week job. Success! Pop open a bottle of bubbly! (San Pellegrino, that is. With a twist of lime.)

Now it’s a new year. Phew. Sit back. Take a breather.

Okay, break’s over! Get up and do it all over again.

Ack! Really?

God willing, I plan to finish my novel, Maroon Lake, this year. So here I am, looking up the mountain, which consists of a 65,000 word rough draft, sans the ending chapters. This place looks familiar. Wasn’t I just here? Sigh. I do love to write, but I must admit, this perspective is a little daunting.

Up: And now (drum roll), introducing novel number two!

Up: I finally get to focus on a new project, new characters, and a new setting.

Down: The Exception isn’t published. What if it never gets published? What if Maroon Lake never gets published? What if I’m a bad writer and I’m just kidding myself?

Up: Oh well, I enjoy writing, so I’m going to do it anyway. I will become published eventually. Just keep working on it.

Up: It’s below zero outside, but Maroon Lake is set in the summer. Good.

Down: Hmmm. Chapter 1 could use some work.

Up: Chapter 1 is done. That was quick!

Down: Yuck. Chapter 2 needs even more work.

Down: How on earth do you describe a kitchen and make it sound interesting?

Up: I think I like it:

The kitchen opened up to his right. It contained the usual furnishings, all swathed in a coat of gloss. Shiny wood cabinetry, shiny marble countertops, shiny professional grade appliances—as though his mother expected him to make soufflés and steak tartare in his spare time.

Down: It took me an hour to revise three sentences?! At that rate, just how long is it going to take me to finish this novel, considering some days I’m lucky to get an hour of writing time in?

Down: Poor me.

Up: Baby steps, Jessica. Baby steps.

Up: I think I can, I think I can.

Up: Chapter 2 is done. I like it!

Up: Shew, Chapter 3 is in much better shape.

Up: (An hour later) I’m almost done with Chapter 3!

As Billy Joel once said, and so it goes. Up and up, and then down, and then up. Two steps forward, one step back. (I think Paula Abdul said that one.) Baby steps. All the way up the mountain.