I've been working on another YA off and on and off and on and mostly off but sometimes on. I asked myself why it was taking me so long to get it done. Haven't I written books before? And didn't I write those books when I was chasing after five maniac boys and teaching a little here and bookselling a little there and just generally living my life at full tilt? So why haven't I been more productive now that I have more of the life I used to fantasize about--at least where the writing part is concerned?
Here's what I realized. I was finding all kinds of ways not to work on the novel because I was (am!) afraid. What if this just turns out to be another manuscript that no one wants to read, let alone publish?
Well. It might end up being that. But that's no reason to stop. It really isn't. There are legitimate reasons to walk away from writing, but fear isn't one of them.
So I ran off what I've got and read through it and discovered that it is, in fact, a hot mess. And if it were set in the south, then it would be a hot southern mess. But lo and behold! There are parts of it that are pretty darn good. And I do think I see a shape, a direction, a point.
It was a good reminder that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and hope the river currents below will carry you along kindly.