Indie Confession — #2 / by Kenneth Buff

So I met with my author group today. We meet every two weeks, me and a couple of writer friends. We swap 20 pages of our most recent completed manuscript and pass back the 20 pages we swapped from the week before that now have our scribbles all over them. We tell each other our work is shit, and we fluff each other a little bit as well, building each other while tearing down; being honest. It's one of the most constructive things I do as a writer—other than writing, of course. It really helps with the isolation of writing as well. There's a lot of dark times when you're writing a novel. You reach a certain point with every book where you're afraid the whole thing may be complete shit, or at least what you're writing now may be complete shit, the other stuff was good, but everything you're writing now is just ruining it. But you plow through, because that's what everyone says to do. You finish the book. You think it might suck, maybe it's good, who the hell knows. Let's write another one. Something different. And then a couple weeks go buy and you read that book you wrote and it's not bad. In fact you think it might be the best thing you've ever written. So you see how it's hard to trust yourself here when it comes to determining if what you wrote is really worth reading, or if it needs work. You have no fucking idea if it's good or not. You only know it's better written than that last thing you did. You can see that. But everything else, who knows?

That's how it is for me anyways. There's a lot of inner thoughts that go on before and after the writing, more than go on while I write. There's a flow that takes place during the actual process of writing, and all the insecurities don't mean a damn thing. The story builds, it bends, and then eventually, it ends. I'm fortunate to have people that read them. And even more fortunate to have people who read them after those people have read them, and some where in there people pay to read them, I'd like to especially thank that last group, and that first group, but no offense Kyle, I'm going to thank the last group just a little bit more.

Overall, I feel pretty fortunate. I'm looking forward to publishing more in the near future. At the rate of our current meets Sunborn will finish its peer edit in 3.75 months, which is over my projected (desired) date, but I think I may be able to nudge my critique partners to push a little toward the end of our run on these manuscripts (Kyle's been slipping in more words per page...oh Kyle, you dog!). But the book is worth the wait. The advice and comments I'm getting from these guys is invaluable, and I can't wait to share what we've created with you.