This afternoon my mom was mentioning her bemusement at finding that her novel (featuring sidekick Fred, the ever-lunching) was proving more popular than she'd expected just as I was skimming an article from Book View Cafe's Brewing Fine Fiction. The happy accident of Mom's finding enthusiastic readers for a small self-published novel (especially one titled I Hate Art) just makes me grin and it took away some of the inertia that sets in when I read "how to" books--even good ones.
Fighting the overwhelming feeling that the ship has left the harbor, at least in terms of my writing career, has become a full-time endeavor. I think about writing and then I decide to read or skim Facebook or file stuff. Except for Facebook, the other two give me a slight sense of accomplishment that I'm not getting from writing. Brewing Fine Fiction is a fine and funny book, but many of the articles presuppose a level of craft to which I have not yet come.
Mom's news broke up my fusty mood with the sharp insight that she earned a victory from finishing. She has a book and she has readers who enjoy it. She did it without workshopping her ideas to death and with a steely eye toward grammatical revisions. She took it seriously without taking herself seriously. Her book is funny. My mom is awesome.
I'm not my mom. But...I am going to finish my novel Triskelion this spring. I'm working on some of the maps and artwork now (because nothing says mighty fantastic adventure like stick people leaping wavy lines). I'm going to keep my favorite character from I Hate Art--Fred the Ever-Lunching--in mind. If the writing gets tough, I'll be hunting up German food or a good delicatessen chicken salad and watching the world go by while I write it down.