The reason for the lack of posts as of late is that I’m trying to push through with the manuscript that I’ve been writing for the past year. The Christmas holidays have given me the perfect chance to devote all my time to my writing and I’m hoping that I’ll have the editing and submission writing finished in the next week or two. Since I’m at that stage in my writing, I decide it would be a great idea to write about five feelings every writer gets while they’re writing.
This is a pretty obvious one. Whenever anyone embarks on a project, creative or otherwise, there has to be a feeling of excitement. When writing, that excitement is multiplied a thousand times over. You get the feeling your work is special. It’s the best thing that has ever happened to writing. You look at the people you have already had published bestsellers in then genre you are writing for and think that your work is every bit as good as theirs, if not better. You’re going to reinvigorate writing, you’re going to change the game, you’re going to be the next J.K. Rowling or Lemony Snicket or Suzanne Collins.
Enthusiasm is great. It’s essential. But past attempts and failures have taught me not to get carried away with enthusiasm. Sometimes it can blind us from the truth. You could have a wonderful idea for a book, only you’ve gone about it the wrong way but just can’t see it. There might be a scene you really like and you just can’t bring yourself to take it out of the book.
Writing something is no doubt euphoric but that is not always a good thing.
Why am I doing this? Why am I pouring so much time and effort into writing something and polishing it and sending it off when I know the odds are against me. I’m more likely to get a million rejections rather than find that one agent who likes me. (Please note that this is by no means a factual statistic)
My despair stems from college too. Being in college has given me a lot of free time to write but I then have to think about what happens when I graduate from my Masters. Do I move country? What job will I get? Where will I end up? What do I actually want to do? Do I do a PhD? Do I do another degree? There is a list about ten feet long covering the uncertainties of my future.
If what I’m currently writing is good and I get an agent and a publishing deal and everything is hunky dory, my life is changed. I no longer worry about those things. It gives me freedom to do what I want and go where I want without having to start over completely.
So, yeah, writing is a pain sometimes.
Why am I writing? This is crap. It’s rubbish. No sane person would even write this because it’s so utterly useless.
When writing, you’re creating something new. Sure there is truth to the statement that there are no more original ideas, but it’s up to you on how to frame them, how to tell the story and so on. It feels akin to jumping out of a plane without a parachuted. For all you know, the idea is unsellable.
I reached this stage recently in my rewrites. I came across two sections of the book (in total they comprised about five chapters…not as bad as it sounds as my chapters are quite short), and I felt wiped out by the sheer stupidity of what I had written. Thankfully, I was able to change the scenes completely and make them, at least in my mind, work. I guess I’ll see soon enough if anyone else thinks they work too.
Acceptance is that moment where your kid goes off to college for the first time and you realise they don’t need you as much anymore. I’m only presuming…I don’t have a kid…and if I did they definitely wouldn’t be in college…I’m twenty-two.
When it comes to books it’s the moment when you’ve tortured yourself so much with edits and rewrites that you can no longer see straight and pretty much can’t interact in society and have a normal conversation because your mind is a jumble of words and paragraphs. At least that’s my excuse anyway.
So either you’ve made your work as strong as possible, or you can no longer look at it and have to send it off before your sanity finally departs from your body. I’d like to think I belong to the first group but I have a feeling it’s the second one that rings truer.
The idea of writing is great. The feeling of having written is on a different level altogether.
Everyone wants to write. I’ve spoken to dozens of people who tell me that they would love to write a book and that they sort of have an idea and it would be great if they could get it onto paper one day and everyone would love it because it’s ground-breaking only they don’t have the time or they don’t have the commitment or their dog is sick and that means they have to look after him. Whatever the reason for not writing, everyone has an idea.
After you’ve written, you look back at the words you’ve written, ranging anywhere from thirty thousand to hundreds of thousands and you delight in the fact you actually did it.
But now comes the amazing part because the thought of actually being successful and getting an agent seems even more fantastical than what you’ve written. Dreams of walking into a bookstore and seeing your own book on a shelf for the first time take over and you cling onto the hope that it will one day be a reality.
Thanks for reading and while I hope to get back to posting regularly, I can’t promise anything. In terms of what’s to come, I still need to cover the character of Polyphemus in Greek Mythology and I will also be running another instalment in The Writing Process which will deal exclusively with editing and submitting to agents. If you want to follow me on Facebook you can do so by clicking here and on Twitter by clicking here.
Happy New Year,