It’s About Damn Time
That’s right. It’s about damn time for me to finish up the sequel to my first science fiction novel, Betera’s Factor. It has been a long and arduous road to the finish., but here we are with just a few chapters remaining. I could blame the delay on the global pandemic, but I think it’s been used as a scapegoat for more important delays in our lives. My reasoning is quite simple–I wasn’t sure whether I actually had it in me to continue. And by continue, I mean finish. For anyone out there who is just starting down the road to become an author or for those who have been in the trenches but for a few years like me, I’m sure you can relate to my feelings of inadequacy.
Unless you’re like a friend of mine who cranks out books in her damn sleep, this @#$! is hard. Not the editing, not the world-building, and no, not the character sketches either. It’s sitting down in a seat and banging it all out on paper that Fs me up. I have a million ideas and pages of dialogue and exposition in my head, but I always struggle when it comes to tapping it out on a keyboard. Plus, this time around with the pandemic (crap, I said I wasn’t going to use that excuse) I had too much time on my hands to even consider planting my but in the seat. Yet, here I am, barreling toward the finish line. What changed?
Shut Up and Finish It
What changed was that I started seeing my life go by without completing the experiences I swore to myself. That’s right. It wasn’t a promise I made to others or obligations I had to a publisher or agent. I kicked my own arse because if I didn’t find a way to sit still and do it, I was going to be disappointed in myself. The idea of failing me and labeling myself a loser was enough. Sure, it took a couple of beers every writing session to get things flowing, but they have flowed. Self-deprecation can actually be a wonderful thing when applied conservatively. However, I’d be lying if I said this was my sole motivation. Let’s examine the other one.
I Sing the Body Electric
I don’t necessarily mean Whitman’s poem in its purest form. Rather, I mention this because back in 2019 when I should have been writing, I was focusing on retooling my body for better health. I hadn’t paid much attention to my health in the last couple of years, feeling that weight loss and increased strength were beyond my reach. A visit to the doctor’s office jolted me out of that falsity. When faced with the news of high cholesterol and prediabetes, I burst into action, exercising 4-5 days a week and adhering to a strict nutritional regime, counting every caloric morsel that entered my mouth. A year later, I had lost 65lbs and dropped 4 clothes sizes and I lowered my cholesterol by more than 30 points. Hmm. If I could do this with my body, and lavish it with love and care, what else could I do?
It’s All Very Clear to Me Now
Like Dave Bowman declared in the film 2010 when he said, “It’s all very clear to me now and it’s wonderful,” I decided that I could apply the same determination to my writing. It was and still is very clear to me now. When we want something, we just have to resolve to work for it. I don’t have a magic muse or the type of disposition that allows me to turn out whole drafts in record time. That’s not my style. I do procrastinate. I do struggle, but eventually, when I’ve had enough, I get it done. It’s about damn time that I recognize that the fear of failing myself is what kicks my butt in gear. It’s about damn time that I remember why I got into the writing racket in the first place.
I started writing because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I wanted to create something I could put my stamp of approval on rather than wait for the NYT or some critic to tell me I knew what I was doing. And believe me, the critics have spoken. You can check out what they’ve said here. I happen to agree with them, but even if those reviews had been awful, I would still find a way to keep writing because it’s about damn time for me to be selfish. And my selfishness demands that I satisfy only one person–Me, myself, and I. It’s about damn time.
Read Betera’s Factor before Betera’s Legacy launches this fall.