I’ve always heard authors say it took years to complete a novel and assumed they were lazy. I mean, I wrote 31 books in ten years and I wrote them quickly!
Well, call me Judy because I was super judgy.
I have written half of The Dirty Book Club about nine times in the past four years. It’s an ambitious project that spans generations, includes secret rituals, funny conversations about dirty books, and great characters in their early 30s with lives that need some serious fixing. And it’s HARD!
My latest start-over was this January. Among other things I changed it from a novel with multiple points of view to a novel with one main voice. Now, seven months later I am on page 175 of a very crappy first draft. Some days are fun. Most suck. But I truly believe in this more than anything I’ve ever done. But those damn voices in my head!! They won’t stop yammering.
Lisi, you’re writing for grown-ups now. Lisi, your friends are going to read this. Lisi, your kids’ teachers are going to read it.
Oprah might. Your parents will for sure. So will the neighbors. And what about those opinionated book club members? You better not mess this up!!
This morning I wondered why I never went through this anxiety with the Clique. Sure, there were uninspired days and major burnout, but for the most part writing that series was pure joy. It’s not that I didn’t care about what you thought. It’s just that, well, I didn’t let myself care. I wrote what I wanted to write. Critics be damned! I let myself show up on those pages like some freak at a cheerleader’s party intent on dominating the dance floor.
It’s been twelve years since the first Clique came out. You’re older now. Old enough to read The Dirty Book Club, that’s for sure. So I have named you my muses. The girls I’ve felt safe with since 2003. The ones who accepted me for the flawed and fabulous person that I am. I will think of you as I struggle to complete this first draft. Because you always understood me and you always supported me–way more than Oprah!
Long live My Clique!!!