…let me tell you all about the pain.
I've written enough books and things to identify a few milestones along my creative road. When I was … well, I almost said 'still figuring this out', like I have it all figured out, which I don't, so I'll try again: When I had even less figured out than I do now, it would freak me out when I was convinced that something was horrible and I sucked and I was stupid and they were all going to laugh at me and cover me with pig's blood. Now I know that feeling that way is just a landmark on my creative path, and when I feel that way I can recognize it as just part of the birthing process.
This isn't to say that I don't know how to recognize the difference between feeling like something sucks when it actually doesn't, and feeling like something sucks because it really does suck and it's time to let it go and move on to something else. I think it's really important for all artists, especially those of us who work independently, to train the hell out of this skill, and get good editors (or the editor-equivalent) to make sure we use it.
I've recently discovered two new labor pains, and they're driving me crazy: "I hate this and I just want it to be over so I can do something new," and "I hate the sound of my own stupid fucking voice." Unsurprisingly, they arrived together and made a lot of noise until I recognized them for the labor pains that they are.
Speaking of labor pains, I have accepted that the Farpoint entries in Memories of the Future aren't going to be as funny as Justice or Naked Now. I was making myself crazy trying to force into being something hilarious, when all it's going to be is amusing, which was wasting my time and annoying the pig, so I've put the Farpoint entries to bed. Here's a little bit from part two that I think doesn't suck:
Picard bids farewell to the Hood and walks onto the bridge, just in time for Q to appear on the main viewscreen. Worf, full of Klingon piss and blood wine vinegar, leaps to his feet and draws his phaser. Picard whacks Worf on the nose with a newspaper and tells him to put his toys away, because blowing a hole in the viewer isn’t going to get rid of Q any faster. (It is at this very moment that the Big Dumb Stupid Old Worf drinking game is born, one of the few Star Trek drinking games to span multiple series and movies, joining the infamous “Transporter Has Capabilities Never Seen Before Or Since” and “Scene With The Character The Writers Really Hate But The Goddamn Suits Made Us Include” hangover-makers.) Q tells Picard that he needs to solve the Mystery of Farpoint within 24 hours, or he will be summarily judged by Captain Q's Kangaroo Court, where he faces death beneath an avalanche of ping pong balls.
Hey, speaking of things that are lame, here comes Wesley Crusher, who is so busy talking about how awesome the holodeck is, he falls right into some of its totally awesome and entirely realistic water, soaking his awesome brown sweater in the process. Luckily for Wes, he has a closet that is filled with those horrible things, and in the very next scene, we see he's changed into a spiffy green number (which, if I must be honest here, was the sweater I hated wearing the least. Yes, it was ugly as hell, but it was much more comfortable than the other ones, and was nearly baggy and lame enough to pass for something you'd wear if you were 14 in 1987 and had a huge crush on Debbie Gibson. Not that I ever did. The posters were just up there for show, man. And I did the autographs myself with the same marker I used to draw tanks for Ogre. Uh . . . I’ve over-shared again, haven’t I?)
So, it isn't hilarious, but it's amusing, and that's just fine with me, especially because it means I'm nearly finished with all the heavy lifting on Volume One. All I have to do is set a course for The Last Outpost and make the synopsis less tedious (very hard to do because the episode is two things: tedious and more tedious). Once that's done, I go through the whole thing one more time to polish it up and make sure that the behind the scenes stuff is just right.
I'm still on my release schedule (well, maybe a few days behind) but it's all coming together. This is pretty awesome, because on the horizon, I can see my favorite milestone on the creative path: "Holy shit it's done and I finally get to share it with readers."