Now, on to Day 4!
I cannot remember who said it originally, but the popular writerly saying goes, "writing is a solitary endeavor." You hunker down over a keyboard or a notebook for hours at a time, and ignore everything but the characters who've made the dim recesses of your imagination home. You mutter to yourself, curse at your characters, and stare at your family blankly when they ask if you plan on feeding them anytime this century.
If you're lucky, you have a small group you vent to about the frustrations inherent in writing... like the characters who refuse to say a word the entire time you're at the computer, but they won't shut up at 3 in the morning when you have a meeting at 8am. Or the plot that fizzled before it even began. Or your addiction to coffee, the sentence that just won't cooperate, or the chapter that your word processing program ate.
They tend to know exactly how you feel because they've been there, done that, and probably will again before the month is out. They empathize, sympathize, and celebrate with you. They talk you through the impossible times, and convince you that you're insane for wanting to take a flamethrower to the manuscript you've poured over for months.
When I started writing Fade, I didn't have critique partners like that. What I had was two toddlers and my mom's front porch. She had this awesome front porch that engulfed the front of the old Victorian she lived in. The thing was massive, and so comfortable. I sat out there for hours in the middle of winter, with frozen fingers, a numb behind, and a smile on my face.
|Aloshua and Kaia|
My mom doesn't have the awesome porch anymore, but I still have my little writing buddies. Aloshua still happily hunkers down with me and writes his heart out. Kaia still asks me a thousand questions every time I sit down to write. I can't help but smile in relief that the sense of wonder they found during those long evenings at my mom's dining room table is still firmly in-tact.
Every time I pick up Fade, I remember those early days of frozen fingers and pint-sized assistants, and hope that one of these days, it'll be Kaia or Aloshua sitting where I am today: with a contract on a shelf, and a smile on their faces.
An auntie can hope, right?