We returned a week ago from a wonderful Boston-Bermuda cruise. Cruising is a very pampering experience and for me, a lover of history, natural beauty, and especially the ocean, Bermuda was magical. (Snorkeling! Peppercorn helmet dives that allow one to walk on the ocean floor and see the fish up close--with one's glasses on! Warm waves!) For the first time in I'm not sure how long, I had a week with absolutely no obligations, a true vacation. I brought the laptop with me but only turned it on when we wanted music in the cabin.
You'd think I'd feel rested, relaxed, recharged, and raring to go. Well, I'm rested, and raring to go--back to Bermuda.
back to work.
Instead, I'm seeing the flaws in my WIP far too clearly. (Note to self: Of course there are flaws. It's a bloody first draft, and it's rambling all over the place as first drafts are wont to do, and two characters probably need to be rolled into one, and it seems to be inventing its own subgenre. And one of the heroes has been a prisoner for something like 40,000 words, which means he's been much too passive and non-heroic for too long. But at this stage, it's okay that it's flawed. You can revise crap, but you can't revise a blank page.)
I'm not sure romance is what I should be writing at all. Hell, I'm not sure fiction is what I should be writing. I'm not convinced I have any ability to plot or characterize.
This despite two shelves of anthologies containing published stories and a novel, not to mention the novel published in serial form back in my twenties. Realistically, I must be doing something right. I'm not perfect. I do tend to make things too easy for my characters in the first draft (although in Lion's Pride I may have made things a bit too hard, given that I meant poor Jude to be freed from the bad guys' clutches several chapters ago, but the way I'd set things up, his lovers needed to do some major magic just to figure out where he was, let alone rescue him.) And I'm certainly not a fast writer.
But I also beat myself up too much: for not writing enough, for not being self-supporting as a writer, for not having a new poetry book ready to go on top of everything else, for having times when I just want a holiday weekend like everyone else gets, etc. For being me and not someone else, Nora Roberts maybe, or Stephen King (although I really wouldn't want to be Stephen King, given the shit he's put himself through over the years. Nora seems pretty sane and stable.)
Rant off. Now to write!