I'm raising my hand. I have sticky scar tissue. Some don't. If you're a non-sticky scar tissue person, get down on your knees and thank Jesus.
Sticky scar tissue is quite pesky as it can adhere to things you don't want it to adhere to and give you bigger problems than what you started with.
(This post is about writing, I promise.)
When the sticky scar tissue happens, a very strong but heartless person must dig around your wound (I have two) and tear apart the scar tissue.
I would rather give birth to a full-grown porcupine, breach!
Ice is my friend.
So how is this related to the writing life? Because when you're a writer, everything is related to writing.
I've been, as you know, trying to figure out how an author can give away over 20,000 books, get great reviews, and not sell enough books to cover one month's groceries. A great mystery.
An even greater mystery is what to write next. Commercially speaking, series are golden in the Kindle world. Can I come up with one series idea that makes my heart pitter-patter? Of course not!
I have five great stand-alone ideas. Ugh.
And then I read this:
Listen up: Do not keep the marketplace in your head while you are in a creative mode. Writing with the marketplace in mind is no way to write. Learn your craft, write lots, and when you are ready, the marketplace will be ready.-Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Pen on Fire
She's talking to students, but this is what I needed to hear. My audience will find me. They will. And until they do, I must keep writing better and better books. Stories that are dangerous and embracing at the same time. I can do it!
Here's the tie-in with the scar tissue: Shifting from marketplace thinking to storytelling thinking, which aren't mutual exclusive, I know, but I've gotten out of kilter, putting more emphasis on the marketplace than creativity. And fun. And so, it's time to break up, tear, scrape (all words used in the process of scar tissue taming) away the paralyzing hold that market-driven writing has on me.
It's gonna hurt. But I'll be better storyteller in the end.
We do not have to talk about scar tissue, but we should discuss what motivates us to write. Is it the marketplace? Many authors have made handsome livings doing this. Think Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele. Is it notoriety? You might do better running down Main Street naked. Is it validation? Is it ministry, a calling? Can our calling to write change? Do you ever attend a writers' conference to behold a sea of eager would-be authors and wonder if they aren't all a bit delusional?