And I sent messengers unto them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?’ (Nehemiah 6:3 KJV).
I’m losing my mojo. As soon as I typed the last word, sipped my warm Guinness and pushed away from my computer, I felt it leave me. That was a month or two ago, when I finished my first novel. Fat and happy, I was. Now I’m just fat. And ever since I’ve kinda meandered… from project to project… blog to blog… without purpose.
Some people feel “called” to write, and right now I’m not sure I’m one of them. Called? What exactly does that mean? Called to write? Now I’m even more confused. Is that like “called to preach” or “called to die for the tribe”?
Really, this blasted second-guessing started when I began my Proposal. Non-writers are in the dark about two things: (1) Good writing is damn hard work, and (2) Getting published is serious business. So I spent a year in this warm literary cocoon, enveloped by cyber-friends, outlines and (worst of all) my own thoughts. But, lo and behold, from the primordial grey matter, a story evolved. A decent story. Not The Breakout Novel, but above average. I think.
So I heave a great sigh, reacquaint myself with family and take a break from writing. But all the while someone is whispering in my ear. Psst. Mike. You’re not done. “Whaddya mean, I’m not done? A full year of writing and research and re-writing and — Hey. Who is this, anyway?” Psst. Mike. Now you have to sell it. “Is this the devil?”
So I kiss my wife goodbye, crack my knuckles, and turn to Proposal Writing 101. By the first paragragh I realize I will loathe this. Writing, I like. Selling, I don’t. Comparative Titles and Selling Points and Market Trends and Author Endorsements? And this is just to get an agent to glance your way. Egads! So here I sit, wilted; trying to kick-start a once humming engine. Was I called to this — to teeth-whitened sales pitches, trend analysis and portfolio packing? Characters, stakes and sub-plots, I get. But who tossed head-shots and handshakes into the mix? I’ve stalled in the fast lane and, in my neighborhood, nobody stops for you.
Now my mojo’s gone, the wall is still in ruins, and my calling is questionable. Another Guinness, bartender. And oh, by the way, my first novel has collected that first thin layer of virgin dust.