Hey there. I’ve been quiet over the last couple weeks, not because I haven’t been writing (I have! I have! My fingers are numb from the typing!), but because everything has been changing.

I’ve always felt that once I got to a certain point in my first draft – somewhere past the halfway mark – I’d get a sense for whether it was working. Whether the story was hanging together, whether it would keep a reader engaged, whether it could stand on its own.

I reached that point over the last month or so, and the gut checks I kept getting were something like this: You’re playing it safe. You’re coloring inside the lines. You could make this bigger, darker, better.

No one wants to hear that, even when it’s your own self talking, so I started asking a few people I’ve shown some of the first bits to. They agreed. Here’s what humble pie tastes like: teeth-scrapingly tart.

It’s clear that the story needs some significant re-working. It doesn’t have enough spark yet. It needs love. Attention. Obsession.

I’m digging it all up, exposing the guts again, doing major surgery. Look at these blood-spattered walls!

I’m frustrated + excited + cranky. I keep thinking about the deadline, and how very much I want to finish this book before I turn 40, and what if I don’t make it, and WAAAAHHH.

But you know: my book doesn’t care. It just shrugs.

So much for my progress reports. My word counts mean absolutely nothing. Aaannddd I’m back to wandering in the wilderness. Or, you know: writing.

It does amuse me to note that my characters are beginning to fulfill the title of the book more and more each day, AND SO AM I.