Well, with the holidays approaching 'sticking to my gut' could mean a number of things. I'm sure a lot will be sticking to my gut, along with my hips, from now until the new year, but I'm talking about another meaning. Lately, I've been sort of lost and scared. My creativity has gone through spurts. It will flow one minute, and be totally dry the next. This is uncommon for me, but I guess it can happen. I think that with all that goes on in our daily lives, our mind gets distracted, and in my case, creativity takes a back seat.
I did get to do some revising yesterday, and I thought I was going to cut a whole bunch of stuff, when I realized, I wanted it that way. It's hard especially being a newcomer to really, truly stick to your vision. You want to learn, grow, be accepted, and ultimately win the hearts of agents and publishers, along with readers. This can distract you from your original vision. Things may need to change sentence structure, those gosh darn adjectives, dreaded -ing words, wacky 'was' and so on, but the story-- how do we stay true?
I have to admit my original vision did need tweaking/tightening, but no matter how much I change it, certain things stay the same. They have to, otherwise it's not my work. In a world full of opportunities for advice and suggestion, it's hard not to get caught up in a tizzy. I know when I started, I craved to know how my story was-- Does it have a chance, how could it improve, and so on. I got great advice, but also got overwhelmed and confused. I never went through one full revision because I kept changing things to the advice I was given. Now don't get me wrong, advice is priceless, and for me it's my classroom, but too much can make you feel like you're drowning. Never moving forward. You watch others complete manuscripts in record time, land agents, and get published while you're still deciding where to go. How to change it to make it shine while your two year old keeps repeating the word mustang till you say mustang, can bring you down-- make you feel that you'll never be able to be 'in the game', wondering why you started this in the first place.
I have felt this way, but I have moved on. Everyone's path is different, and things will come to us at different times when we least expect it. Keeping our eye on our prize can fuel the fire, making it hard not to give up. It's hard to 'stick to our gut', but just remember it's yours, it's a part of you that the world may get to see. If you give yourself a chance, you may be surprised. I have a long way to go, but as my one year blogoversary approaches, I realize how far I've come. I know what I want, and how I want my story to be. The awesome advice I get now, I use with a twist of my vision. I take it, and apply it to help my story, not change it. I try not to get caught up in the frenzy, and keep my own pace. It's been a struggle, but I'm getting there.