A Moment of Hysteria… every writer has one

The incomparable Butterfly McQueen as "Prissy" in "Gone with the Wind."
The incomparable Butterfly McQueen as “Prissy” in “Gone with the Wind.”

“I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ babies!”

With apologies to Butterfly McQueen, whose “Prissy” alone could do that line justice, I borrow the famous “Gone With the Wind” quote here as a nod to true, bloody panic…

Come on, authors. You know what I’m talking about. There’s always a point in the process of writing a novel or a long short story when you’re pulling your hair and screeching at imaginary Scarlett O’Hara’s whose drivel of “Tomorrow is another day” means total crap when your deadline is today… TODAY!

Granted, most of you probably don’t have imaginary Scarletts popping out of your woodwork, but you no doubt get the picture. (By the way, I don’t have an imaginary Scarlett either… The imaginary Rhett at my front door constantly muttering “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” is enough for me, thank you.)

The point is -and yes there is a point- the life of a writer inevitably drags a bit of hysteria from us all.

It may not be at the finish line; it may be at the starting gun. Knowing you’ve got a story to write, knowing it’s got to be “freaking good dammit!” can bring on one hell of a fit for those unprepared.

Or, you might be in the middle of your novel, 20K in the books (so to speak), when you realize with startling clarity that the storyline is crap and has to be redone… completely redone. Panic? Oh, yeah.

But you know what? We get through it. We come out the other side, if not smiling, at least still breathing.

Why this pep talk, you might ask? I’m sure some of you have suspicions that I must have hit a brick wall with Writhe. Or that the Ides of March deadline has started ticking maniacally in my head…

But, no. Writhe is good and so am I.

In fact, the Ticker From Madness for today stands at …

3,000 words (making 18K words ready to ship out)

Right on schedule. *grins proudly*

So why don the pom-poms and short pleated skirt today?

Just because it wasn’t my turn today to feel that hysteria, doesn’t mean some other author isn’t suffering through it right now.

It may sound corny, but sometimes it just helps to know that somebody else out there (even if it’s just a mad blogger) knows what you’re going through.

So, fear not, my intrepid writer. There is air on the other side… And, dare I say it? Your success is not gone with the wind.

Until tomorrow…


P.S. Burning the pom-poms now.

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