Ease of Mind

I submitted my WIP to Kate McKean right before memorial Day weekend. It’s a good thing I did so because I felt confident about the draft and I needed to clear my plate because my wife was having her wisdom teeth pulled. Based on her fragile health as of late, I knew the recovery was going to be consuming.

And it has been. But ten days out she’s doing much better and the dust is settling around here. However, the time away from writing has left me with two points to ponder: 1. What’s next. 2. Is that WIP really as good as I thought it was?

This is my vicious cycle: write, revise, worry. Tap Out is being given away at Book Expo America this week. By the end of the month I’ll be at ALA Anaheim supporting my work, and yet I know the entire time I’ll be in the throes of worry.

Writing is 24-7, and mostly in my head. I am constantly thinking about what story I want to tell next. I work with teenagers and am always considering their current struggles and how they fit within the market. When I’m not actively engaging with these thoughts, because life dictates my time otherwise, I’m left to dwell and to second-guess, even though I know better.

The fact that I have such consternation is not a fail-safe against poor writing, but it is a measure of self-monitoring that comes from experience. I know when I first began writing, I loved whatever I wrote, even though I knew it wasn’t publishable. Now, I love the process even more, but with publication comes responsibility. I worry about my writing like I do my own children. Am I cultivating it correctly? Am I teaching my girls the right lessons?

There’s no way of knowing beyond just writing. I have to get the words down and then have them reviewed. I have to be willing to let my daughters make their own decisions and hope the world is kind to them.

But it’s not easy.

I do have a plan, though–at least for what’s next. I’ve toyed with three possibilities and I’ll start in on whichever I’m most drawn to. Because the overwhelming element in the process is passion. It is because I care so damn much that I want whatever I put forth to be better than the last.

It’s the only way for my wind to be at ease. Until it’s not…

A signed contract and MMA bare knuckle brawling

Two completely disparate topics, I know, but not necessarily for me. My world is all about my forthcoming novel Tap Out, but because of its focus on the world of MMA, included in that scope are all things related to the sport.

Therefore, I was beyond excited when my contract came in last Tuesday. I read all 14 pages, shot an email of questions to Kate McKean the next morning, who promptly answered them with her typical astute brevity. I signed and sent the copies to Kate on Wednesday. The rest is now behind the scenes. Until the first half of the advance comes that is. Then I might pass out. All good, though. I’ll take a header over something this significant.

Someone who won’t dive is Dada 5000. I came across an article in Maxim, titled “Knuckle Up!”, and could not have read it with more interest. Dada 5000 has parlayed a backyard, bare knuckle fighting circuit, into a chance at an MMA career via YouTube, his charisma and a forthcoming documentary, Dawg Fight. He’s set to fight Kimbo Slice (ironically, a neighborhood friend) and the bout will be an epic brawl. I’m following Dada on Twitter, looking forward to Dawg Fight, and am thrilled that the proliferation of MMA continues.

Tap Out speaks to the absolute core of this world, and I am so thankful to Lisa Cheng and Perseus for affording me the opportunity to unleash it.