Waiting for Christmas

I’m in a bit of an in-between stage right now, waiting to hear back from a publisher on a new novella I submitted. To distract myself, I have jumped into my next story, which is a Christmas one, intended for Dreamspinner’s Advent Calendar later this year. Christmas? In April? Believe it or not we just had a nasty ice/snow storm in Toronto last week so it’s not that hard to imagine it still being winter! The idea for this particular story came to me as I was finishing up my novella “When Adam Kissed Me” and just wouldn’t leave my head; sometimes I can shelve ideas and come back to them later, but this one actually kept intruding, which is a good sign. For me, inspiration comes in all sorts of forms; sometimes it’s a person, or a particular scene, or in the case of my Christmas story, simply a title. I am one of those writers who has to strike while the idea is hot and while I’m “in the mood”, so I have been quite busy lately and writing daily. It also keeps my mind off problems at work and the interminable waiting to find out the future of “When Adam Kissed Me”. Is writing my form of avoidance? Absolutely.

This by far, is the hardest part of the process for me–the waiting. No matter how good I think something is when I am writing it, as soon as it gets sent off for review or feedback, I am immediately plagued with doubts. What could I have done better? Will they like it? Is it too “sweet”? My inner critic starts to look for problems. As much I write for myself first, it still matters what others think when you’re putting it out there. Especially since each work feels like a little piece of me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist anyway, but, if you’re charging money for it, you certainly don’t want to let anyone down or make them feel cheated. The logical part of me says that it’s good to be a little nervous. As soon as you become complacent or cocky, you stop challenging yourself and trying as hard. I try to remember that. Writing, for me, has always been private, and until last year, something I didn’t really share; the whole point of doing so was to stretch myself out of my comfort zone so this is something I will have to get used to.

I am very excited about “When Adam Kissed Me”, no matter what happens; it’s the longest piece I have written so far, and my first unsolicited submission. For me it marks a turning point in my writing journey. I definitely intend to share more as soon as I know one way or the other. In the meantime, I’m heading back to a warm San Diego Christmas Eve, where two lonely men are waiting for me to match them up 🙂

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