My belief is: Before you become a writer, you can’t fully know what you’re in for. Sure, you read about it—or you immerse yourself in the world and have an idea with how hard it’s going to be, but you can’t really prepare yourself for the emotional ups and downs until you live it.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
- New story idea Pure excitement! Complete faith that “this is the one.” The words can’t fly out fast enough.
- Mid-manuscript frustration Maybe this isn’t the best idea in the world. It isn’t working. Should I continue? I do have that other idea…
- Moment of enlightenment. I can do this. There’s still hope. There’s good in this story. I’m going to see this through.
- Finish manuscript. Yippee! I did it! I’m SO getting Big 5 with this one!
- Beta readers. I’m crap. Look how much I didn’t see was wrong. If I can’t catch all this, then what hope do I have? I’m so embarrassed. I can’t believe I put myself out there like that.
- Finish beta edits. Okay. This isn’t too bad. Thank goodness for good readers. My manuscript is all pretty and shiny now. Agents/publishers are going to love this!
- Query/Submission. Lots of hope. The possibilities are endless. Someone is definitely going to want to work with me.
- Rejection. The. World. Is. Going. To. End.
- Revise again. The manuscript is so much better. Rejection is a good thing—it helped me see where I needed to improve. All around, my writing is stronger and so is my manuscript.
- Resubmit. Nervous. But confident. But still nervous.
And the process repeats itself over and over again—though the process may be different depending on where we are on the journey. Whether it’s editors instead of agents, or bad reviews instead of rejection. But the same ups and downs apply: Hope, inspiration, determination. Self-doubt, fear, or writer’s block.
But the coolest thing is, eventually, we get used to this—it finally clicks that feeling down is PART OF THE PROCESS. And if we know this, if we know there’s going to be these down times, then we realize these down moments are just as important as the ups.
So embrace it.
Don’t fight against it. Embrace that when we’re in a rut, it will pass. Let it be part of you. Let it fuel you. Because if we can love the down part of the process, then we’ve conquered something HUGE:
Fear. Self-doubt. Or whatever else it is that holds you down.
So just because we’re down, it doesn’t mean the magic isn’t going to come back. And one thing I’ve learned is, when we fight through, the magic is even stronger when we get back to work, because we now have the tools and growth to back us up.
Anything else to add?
Red. Head. Out. :D