The Roller Coaster That Is Writing

So yesterday I tweeted:

Me, two weeks ago: *whines* I can’t even go on Twitter because seeing authors being successful makes me so sad and discouraged, and it’s never going to happen for meeeeeee…..


That right there is writing in a nutshell. 

Everything ebbs and flows. Inspiration. Ideas. Motivation. Creativity. Availability of time. Confidence.

The highs can be really high. I have decided to scrap and rewrite the first hundred pages of my manuscript for the Great Lakes novel, which is incredibly daunting (but necessary). Yet I had a moment with one of my characters this morning that brought tears to my eyes.

The lows can be really low. I truly did have a hard time being on Twitter a few weeks ago because every tweet about a new author securing representation with an agent, or opening up her first box of debut novels, made my stomach sink to my feet in hopelessness. 

And then, sometimes the highs are disguised as lows. 

For some inexplicable reason, I decided to re-read the response I got from the agent who requested my full manuscript back in October. Yes, it was a rejection, and yes, a rejection of the full feels A LOT more difficult and more personal than a rejection of the synopsis or sample chapter(s). But along with some practical advice on where the novel might have problems, the words I truly needed were in that email: so much I liked, enjoyed my read very much, and, most importantly, great promise.

No, those things weren’t enough to secure an agent. But they are enough right now to make me keep going, and I’ll forever be indebted to this agent for keeping my eyes fixed forward. Feedback like that is water on a parched garden.

I wish the journey was steadier, less emotionally intense, but in the end, all the ups and downs, all the joy and the agony, will be worth their weight in a box of Advance Reader Copies.

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