Riding the Rollercoaster

Life for a writer can be a series of highs andclip-art-rollercoaster-428971 lows. If you’re a writer, you know what I mean. One day you’re brimming with great ideas and excited about your work in progress, and the next you’re blocked, struggling to produce even one decent sentence. Sales are lagging or a bad review comes in, and you’re ready to quit writing altogether.

Nothing has more ups and down for me than starting a new project. I’ve recently begun a new Christmas story, and I’ve already run the gamut of emotions.

First there’s giddy excitement. I’ve got an awesome new idea. A couple of main characters with a great conflict. I’ve got a plot sketched out. OK, time to start that first scene. Nothing can stop me now.

Next comes the crash back to Earth, after I’ve drafted the first couple of chapters. I read them over and wince. I’ve used most of those phrases a dozen times before. I’ve absolutely run out of ways to describe people’s eyes and hair and the way they smile and gaze at each other. The writing just isn’t fresh or sharp. Damn, the scene I’ve just written is pretty close to one I used in another book. 

For a while, I figure I’ve run out of steam. Am I burned out? Have I already written everything I had in me? But I keep going, keep editing, and at some point I hit my stride. The best days are those when I can’t tear myself away from the keyboard, and when I’m away from my computer, I scribble ideas on scraps of paper or in the Notes feature of my cell phone.

Revisions can be easy or agony, depending on the book. There’s nothing like the feeling after final edits are done and the cover is ready. But along with the satisfaction, there’s always trepidation. What mistakes did I miss? Are readers going to like it, or will they trash it? Have a dozen other authors already done a similar story, but a million times better? I’m never fully satisfied with the finished product. I send it out into the world with both pride and fear.

The greatest high of all comes when a glowing review appears. My story made someone cry or cheer. I gained a fan. I may not have written a bestseller, but the story I came up with in my head has reached somebody’s heart. That’s pretty amazing.

Do you find it harder to start or finish a book? Do revisions drive you mad? Do negative reviews crush you? What are your writing highs and lows?

My newest release is Believe In Me, book 4 in the Mus1970sCover.inddic Box Series. Now available at Amazon.

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About susanrhughes

Susan R. Hughes is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and three children.
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8 Responses to Riding the Rollercoaster

  1. Carol says:

    Congratulations on your new book, Believe in Me. Great cover, by the way. Yes, writing goes for me about the same as you. And, once the story and characters become real to me, the muse takes over and won’t let go. If I don’t write down a thought, it flies right out of my head. Of course many thoughts happen while I’m driving and sometimes it isn’t safe or convenient to pull over. I’m excited about our new boxed set, Love Blooms! Can’t wait for it to become available. 🙂


  2. Great post and lovely cover, good luck with the newest release!


  3. Reblogged this on Kelly Rae & Jocelyn Bell Books and commented:

    New Post from The Authors of Main Street, check out the roller coaster ride!


  4. leighmorgan1 says:

    Congrats on your new release, Susan. Lovely cover!


  5. Joan Reeves says:

    Hardest is writing the rough draft. I LOVE the revision process. Congratulations on the new book.


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