No matter how I say this, it will sound self-serving and terribly presumptuous and pretentious. But, I need to say it anyway.
After I finished my latest novel, Following Durant, I did what most authors do and set it aside. After I finish a book, I need to get away from it for a while and let it be. A few days after finishing the first draft, I went back through it for a first edit. I was able to resolve some issues, fix grammar, etc.
Yesterday, I opened the manuscript and began to read the first chapter. For some reason, it seemed fresh. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t read it in a few weeks, but I was really into the story and the characters, right from the start. As I continued to read, I felt myself genuinely enjoying the work and the writing.
It was then that I realized that I was actually enjoying something I had written and that it was really good! I know. This is why I apologized in advance. I really don’t like to talk about my writing in terms of arrogance or pretense. But, I felt a victory and had to share it.
As I continued to read, I began to weep. I wept, partly because the story made me and partly because I was so happy that my own story made me cry. You’re probably wondering if I’m bipolar now, and that’s okay. It’s a perfectly natural response to what I’m writing here. But, let me assure you, I am sane.
I guess the point here is that, as writers, we often have our guard up. We have to be critical of our own work. If we aren’t, then it will not be worth the paper on which it is written. But, there are those moments when we let our guard down and just see what happens. It’s then that we can see ourselves in the work and have peace with it.