July 3, 2008

Permission To Be Here . . . For Now

The other day, I had the colossal nerve to think there are a couple of lines in my current novel that aren't too shabby. This morning, I cracked open Water For Elephants. Incredible, captivating writing, spectacular voice, charming wit, depth & heart.

Wow. After an hour I put it down – I had to get ready for work. Part of me couldn't put it down; part of me couldn't read any more. It's a beautifully crafted, engrossing reminder that my writing sucks.

I nearly broke the mouse punching the close button on my always-open novel document. Then I took a deep breath and heard a little voice saying that NO ONE expects my first novel to be as good as Sara Gruen's third (?) and a NYT bestseller at that.

No one but Camille.

I like---no, love a bar set so high my nose bleeds just squinting to see it. I love an impossible challenge when it comes to writing well. Sara sets the bar high, and I like that. But somewhere in all this straining, bleeding and reaching, I guess I need to look at where I am now and give myself permission to be HERE.

For now.

Habakkuk 2:3 says:
For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day. (Amplified)

I will be patient and wait for the day my writing is at its best, but I will wait in earnest---pursuing excellence, writing, studying, honing, reading, listening, receiving instruction and correction and advice, working harder every day to reach that bar.

And I will keep reminding myself that it's okay to be here (while pinching my nostrils and pressing an ice pack to my forehead).

Just wanted to share that. Best of God's blessings to you...wherever you "are."



Anonymous said...

Camille, I can hardly wait to read that book now!

I am not getting e-mail updates about your blog. Hmmm. Something is burping. I will check my spam.

Loved this post. It's where I "am" too!!

Love ya!

Write on!

carla stewart said...

Hi Camille, Oh my goodness, we suffer from the same perfection imperfection. I loved Water For Elephants--my favorite novel in the past eighteen months or so. I'm about ready to read it again for study purposes. Only by reading "above" our own writing level are we able to aspire to greatness. I'm sure you're "current" level is not all that shabby. Breathe deep and keep on writing.

Unknown said...

The funny thing about writers is we all seem to have variations of the same fears. I just read Possession by A. S. Byatt--yes, I know I'm nearly two decades late--and was stunned. Not by the prose, but by the imagination required to write such an intricate story.

Deal is, who knows what any other author has trouble doing. Some are great writers of dialog, others breeze through narrative and others create characters that are wonderful and engaging at the drop of a hat.

I suppose that's why continuing to read great authors and learn the craft is the only way to do it.

Marcus Goodyear said...

Camille--what a wonderful reminder for us to be content and patient. I know my own desires for world domination can make me feel a little underwhelmed with current progress. (And just think. Jesus was content to work with 12 people!)

Anonymous said...

Is your email address on here somewhere and I'm not seeing it?

Camille Eide said...

Hi Anonymous - You're not blind; it's not here. Neither is yours. :)

Juliana said...


Let me just say that my husband and I own a Honda Shadow Aero 750. We are avid bikers. Our church puts on a yearly biker rally/fundraiser.

Anyway, I also love Janes Austin as well. However, my husband is the action guy. I only appreciate action if it has some kind logical plot attached to it.

I love your posts! If only we could just write the way we post. We sure would be pumping out books a lot faster. Such is life.

Just wanted to say hi and encourage with the words of a welknown philospher:

Keep Moving Forward - Walt Disney

Camille Eide said...

Thanks Juliana - "Keep moving forward." Can't hear that too much.

We've got a couple bikers in our church, I guess it's time to organize a rally!

Check out Karla Akins http://jesuslovesbikerchickstoo.blogspot.com/
she's writing a book about a Pastor's wife who wears Harley boots!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plug, Camille!
I sure wish I was getting your new posts in my mail box.

Anna said...

This post was encouraging to me. (Isn't that something...it seems strange that I find encouragement from someone else's discouragement!) :) Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I can understand the frustration, but here is the way I look at it:

You are writing the novel that best fits you at this moment. Three years from now, you won't be able to write the same story and characters, because you will be a different writer. But you will also look back fondly and know that your piece of art was perfect for that time in your life.

All we can do is what God has placed on our hearts. He placed your story in your heart, not Sara Gruen's heart or any other writer's heart. Only you can write that story, and what God chooses to do with it is up to Him.



I've published five novels and 2 novellas (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have six (going on seven) grandkiddos. Decent trade, really.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.