I spent some time in St. George, just before Easter. I went down to sign books at Costco and then spent the evenings and mornings writing like crazy. I made some good progress there before I took my wife and kids up to Washington State for a vacation and to visit some friends for the week after Easter. I hoped to be able to write a lot while I was there too, but I wrote about 3 pages. I returned home very frustrated, wanting to find out what happens to Jake and Amy next.
This has been a very interesting journey of faith for me. I started this book more than eleven years ago with no idea where I was going with it or where it would take me. For many years I was faithless, making very little progress but feeling continually compelled to write. I still am not sure where this series is going. Some things have been clear from the beginning, but very few. When I first started writing, I was writing in first person, through Isaac's eyes. That never really worked, yet I knew I couldn't give it up. I had to keep moving. When I discovered Jake and killed the potter, Isaac, things blossomed and became what they are in a relatively very short period of time.
With this third book, I am feeling a huge amount of pressure. You have fallen in love with the characters of Niederbipp like I have and you want to know what happens next in their lives. So do I. When I am sitting at the wheel, or working in the clay, the voices of Niederbipp scream out and me to finish their story. I want to. Perhaps I am still a little faithless. I think I just broke even with the books, but up until now, pottery has been paying the bills for the books. What would happen if I gave up on the pottery? I think I might lose my mind--it has become so much of who I am, but what if I was able to concentrate on my writing without worrying about making a living. I may never know, but I hope there will come a time when my writing pays the bills and I can make pottery just for fun. I have to finish this book. I have to finish this series so I can get on to the next books I need to write, but for the time being, I have to wear a lot of hats. Too many sometimes.
So, this was going to be a short entry. I just wanted to say to whoever cares that I am progressing. I may not have things done now until July, but things are coming. I have been speaking to a lot of book clubs lately--between two and four every week. This has been exciting and fun to see and hear how the book is reaching people in different ways. It is nice to have people believe in me and thank me for the story. I have also discovered how sensitive I am. I make the mistake every once in a while of reading the reviews on Goodreads. I say mistake because though the majority of the reviews are positive, the negative ones make me feel sick inside. I tell myself I am not going to read the reviews anymore, but then something happens and I get curious and so I look. Like I said, by far the majority are positive, but I am kind of ashamed to admit how powerful the negative ones are to me. I feel like I totally lose my steam. I feel like I am just pretending to be a writer. No one likes to be told they have an ugly baby. I wish I didn't care what people think, but unfortunately, I still do. I am still very vulnerable, too sensitive, too thin skinned. I wonder if authors ever get over negative reviews. If they do, how do they. I would love to hear from any of you have have experience with this.