Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Writing is Crap
I had just received a notice from my agent that yet another publisher turned down my manuscript. I was vulnerable, already doubting my abilities, a little loop of repetitive negativism playing that I endure with each NO. Not a little no. It's like an editor read it and thought "Who is this woman? Is she kidding? She'll never publish this crap."
So I was hanging on this woman's words, relating to her woes. Then I found out she was published. Not once, mind you, but nine novels, numerous anthologies, and even children's books. She has this review blurb on her website - "There is no denying this author's talents." The New York Times Book Review
Well crap. Then I felt lower than dirt - worse - lower than the bottom of the well in my front yard, which is pretty deep since I remember how much I paid for them to drill it twice. This women had no inkling of an idea how I felt. I started to write and advise her that false modesty is far from becoming - it sucks. I almost stopped reading the blog post, poised over the delete button as I masochistically read on.
She taught advanced novel writing. Oh yeah, now I felt better. But then she stated something that hit home. If someone isn't anxious about her work, she isn't struggling with it, isn't necessarily trying to grow. I correlate this to a singer about to step onto the stage. The best performances begin with butterflies.
She went on to say she''ll never get rid of that anxious, nerve-wracking self-doubt, She'll always go through irritable stages where she bites people's heads off, cries, and overeats. She'll also go through stages where the words flow so fast and furious that she can't sleep. Gosh. I've been in both those scenarios - the tears and the chocolate, the love and the sleepless nights. Hmmm. So I kept reading.
On bad days, to bring herself back around to some sense of sanity, she looked at her successes and contacted her writing friends. She made a reference to drowning and remembering how to swim, but I related it to exercising. I've been a month now working out to a program I purchased. Some days I hate it. Some days I forget to breathe. Some days I vow to quit and try something else. But then I finish the day's program, jump in the shower, and feel so grand and self-fulfilled. I might even flex in the mirror and envision how I'll look in another month. I remind myself how much time I've invested and how more investment produces better results.
One day at a time, enduring the undulating rise and fall of emotions, I can do this. And after reading this woman's blog, I realize I'll have doubts after nine or ten books. And I can quit or keep going. It's a ride that never ends.
So I get over myself and return to the keyboard.
There. I feel better.