Okay. Screw it. This stupid Writer's Plateau? First of all, I've spent the last three years processing books for Indyplanet (search The Desert Peach or Stinz or Bosom Enemies or Hader and the Colonel). So the plateau jump is not that old. It doesn't even have fossils in it, yet.
To best explain a "plateau" think Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry as the moment the ladder pulled out of the cliff. Think Family Plot is the nice base camp when he got up onto the plateau. When you're a young writer, there are few plateaus, or they're so small and close, you think they're just orgasm (there's a reason the thrill of writing often shows up down there). When you've been at this game awhile, nothing -- repeat nothing -- is good enough. Sometimes plateaus can take ten years. People who think of them as "blocks" -- with its connotations of entrapment and the inability to move -- have been known to commit suicide. There are too many examples among artists and writers.
I always have an end-of-project panic. I go into learned helplessness. Everything is a plateau, and they keep getting bigger. Sometimes I scramble up a smaller hill because it's easier. The recent death of my cat, with all its struggles, doesn't help.
Right now the only writer money I'm making is off the POD books (which is small, steady and growing and very much WWWID*) and checks from the country weekly I freelance for. My blessing is an editor who understands the insane distances and confusions up here, and who is in charge of his little paper, without a publisher in the same office breathing down his neck who does not seem to understand the difference between gossip and research -- and uses the blame game to not pay the freelancer. Oh, am I now talking about the county daily I don't ever want to hear from again (unless they PayPal what they owe me into my account and start paying me Canadian writer prices)?
Par'm the moment of bitchiness. I did hear from my Good Editor's wife that he remarked it was nice to work with a professional. Pobably because when I do screw up -- and that's often enough -- he asks me to rewrite the correction, and I'm happy to do it). I told her I like working with a professional who not only pays immediately upon being billed -- but reminds me to bill him if I forget.
This guy is a surfer dude, by the way. The supposedly flaky people. How come the supposedly professional people are such losers, and the artsy types are so laid back and goal-oriented? Oh. Well, that explains that.
ANYWAY (I should call my blog "anyway"), to continue what I started up there, I'm going to poke at this very bad prose novel until it rises from the dead. So to speak.
And continue to work on A Little Death, because my agent is a comics agent, and he is trying very hard to sell my collected work and is scaring the entire mainstream book industry half to death. Lord, lord, lord.
*Will Work When I'm Dead.