Now that Mad, Mad Annabelle Jane is a reality (in pre-release on the Tate website and on Amazon Oct 1st) I am learning again something I already knew. We never really"get there".
It is wonderful to hold in my hand the book that grew in my mind about three years ago. But it is really strange that it doesn't change my itch to write. I realize that the success of the first book depends largely on me, that if no one finds it and reads it, it doesn't matter that it is out there. So there is much work to be done. And that work is a privilege, because not everyone gets to have their book published. But I'm not done writing.
The way it works for me is that words build up inside my blood vessels, and I have to sit down at my keyboard and type away to relieve the pressure. Some stuff that comes out is worth saving, and some stuff is blessedly gone when I hit the delete key. But it has to come out in little gasps and globs until I feel done for moment. And that may be the greatest blessing; the ongoing challenge.
I have discovered that I will never arrive at perfection, either. At first that was a bummer. I thought if I was just good enough, I could avoid the potholes of guilt and regret. Evidently I would not continue to grow as a person if that happened (sigh), so I work instead on forgiveness, relying on undeserved grace and mercy. What does that have to do with writing? Everything.
If I were perfect (if is such a big word) I would have no need to spend time on my knees. And there is an angle of perspective that changes from that position. I would miss some of the most amazing sights.
If I were content with one book, there would be no need to keep writing. And I would miss the chance to discover more scenery from my imagination. Of course, I could do without the back alley/ dumpster/ littered roadside type stuff. But that is what the delete key is for. And some days I get to spend time in the quiet wilderness where no one has yet mucked up the place. I'm working on the leave-nothing-but-footprints technique myself. I'll probably not master it. It seems the effort is the point.