I think there must be something wrong with me.
The other day I passed ten thousand words on my new novel. It's a milestone for me; it means that the new book is a real thing, not just an idea for a book, but it is becoming a significant piece of writing (and a good one, I think). I'm excited about it, and the words seem to come out of my head and onto the page pretty easily so far, and a few magical times I have had that experience where things just seem to flow out from some external source as if I'm just a conduit, and the direction and concepts that are happening on the page don't even seem to be coming from me at all, that writing sweetspot where things work better than I could have planned for...
And it is awesome.
However, I still have an unpublished, unrepresented, largely unread novel that is just hanging out on my computer, waiting. And I think: Why are you sacrificing all of your evenings, all of your lunch hours writing when nobody cares? I sometimes feel as if I'm on an island, writing messages, and putting them in a bottle, and throwing them into the ocean, hoping that someone somewhere will read one, will like it, will in some way give a shit that I do this.
I think of Poe dying penniless and forgotten, John Kennedy O'Toole, the suicide, if it weren't for his mother harassing literary people to read it, we would never have gotten Confederacy of Dunces, it would have remained in a drawer somewhere until someone threw it in the burn barrel doing spring cleaning.
I read somewhere that every writer lies, either about how hard it was or about how easy it was. For me, the writing is easy, the idea generation is easy. I've heard of writers block, but that has never been my problem.
What's hard for me is forcing it into my life, finding the time to do it, finding a reason to do it. What's hard for me is finishing anything. Whats hard for me is seeing it through to the end. I just got an idea for a new novel, one that I'm certain that I will take a swing at someday. It is an exciting concept, and one that I'm very excited to explore. What's hard for me is not abandoning my ten thousand word manuscript to start something new. What's hard for me is nobody caring. When Antiartists sees print someday, and someone feels compelled to tell me everything that is wrong with it, that will be crushing to me, I'm sure.
What is really hard is being patient, and waiting for a bottle to come back to me on my island.
Meanwhile, I'm still here, and I've got a (hopefully) endless supply of messages and bottles.