Every time I start a new book I have to tell myself this again. It becomes like a mantra for the first fifty pages or so. This can suck. You can edit later. Just get words on the page. Because otherwise I'm just frozen. I sit there and stare at my screen. I tell my husband I forgot how to write. I think back to the last book I finished and only remember that it seemed to come easily to me. How come that book was so easy to write? I ask myself. And this book is like ripping out my toenails one at a time?
So this is where I was--In the midst of beating myself up the other day while barely choking out a hundred words on my WIP--when I pulled up an old blog post. I don't remember which blog post now, but I read through the comments section and one of my friends had left something along the lines of: You need to send me more Doll Store chapters (this is what we called my last WIP because it didn't have a title for a long time). And my response was: That book is being bad. It's in a serious time out.
I stared at that comment for a long time. Because much like a year after visiting Disneyland, where you only remember the fun and you don't remember the tantrums and breakdowns, I only remembered my last book being simple to write. It seemed to come out already formed. Or so I thought. But apparently I have a horrible memory because this comment, written by me, would say otherwise. It implied that my perfect adult book was actually a difficult teenager. Huh. Weird. But it helped. I told my husband, after reading this comment and having it help me so much, that I should keep a book-writing journal for each of my books. So that later, when I'm whining about my newest WIP, I can look back and see that every book gives me difficulties.
So here, in the first 50 pages of my newest book, I tell myself: It's okay to suck.