Life for a writer can be a series of highs and 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 Music Box Series. Now available at Amazon.
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