One Hit Wonder
On one of the forums I frequent, there was just a chat thread about one hit wonders. I’d been absolutely paralyzed over that very fear. If nothing else, writer forums are good for making you realize that while you’re working alone in your basement, you aren’t alone in a larger sense.
Anyway. You’d think selling something would be this ultimate validation – yay! You can write something people are willing to buy! – but no. You don’t retire the fear of “god, I suck, I’ll never sell anything.” It merely transmutes into “god, I suck, that was just a fluke.”
I will tell you what I did, though. I thought to myself, well, maybe it was a fluke, but you have two hours to write this afternoon and it’s time to get on it. I obsess, panic, twitch, and second guess throughout the rest of the day, but writing time is to write. Not to research, not to surf writer boards, not to daydream about staying at a writer’s retreat, and definitely not to think about anything besides words on a page. As soon as I was done each day, I went back to moping about what a loser I am. But for those two hours, more if I could swing it, I was just writing. When I’m writing, I don’t feel like I suck. In fact, the more days in a row that I stick to writing, the more effortless it becomes.
So while I may indeed suck, a pretty damn good novella is out in the wild making its rounds, the next one is started, and the one after that is in outlines.