Saturday, October 22, 2011

Start Again

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say

-Leonard Cohen - Anthem-

I'm sitting in Starbucks at the beginning of my two week holiday. I chose the time randomly just as a way to use up some holidays I won't be able to carry over but I'm making good use of the time already, typing away on plans and books and blog posts.

I'm nearing the end of Moderately adventurous and I am so very mindful of my previous experiences with completing a book. The initial sense of satisfaction at completing such a significant piece of work. The following sense of hopelessness as you realized nobody in the world is interested.

I chose a subject this time that I hope will remedy the latter problem. It's more sell-able but of course the possibility is still there that it will go nowhere. What will I do if that's the case? Why, start work on the next book of course.

The first hit was hard, I'll admit that. Receiving endless rejection letters from publishers and agents combined with being stuck in a dead end job at the time felt like a death sentence. I learned something, however, I learned that the best solution was to throw everything away and march on. Try again from the very beginning and do things a little better this time.

A strange analogy but recently I bought a new game for my Xbox. It's called Dead Rising 2: Off the Record. Besides being great fun it has an extremely interesting mechanic. You see, you can't win the game. Not the first time at least.

It's impossible, the game's tasks are too much for you when you first begin. You don't have enough health or do enough damage. You're weak and yet you are playing a game meant for somebody so much stronger.

The mechanic comes into play when you fail, finally. When all hope of succeeding has gone. The game does something very interesting, it says, “Reset Story”.

So you start again, knowing the game much better this time. You keep all the strength you've accumulated from before but now have a clean slate. Things come so much easier the second time.

In regards to my novel, I'll do better this time and whether or not I make it to the end is irrelevant. I will start again until I do.

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