Friday, June 5, 2015

While you wait

The thing about this business is there is a lot of waiting. I think that was the biggest and hardest part to get used to. Still is. I'm no where near having a book published but the waiting in the query zone is enough to make you rip your hair out then bang it against a wall. When I first when through this, I was a mess. I was on edge and I kept repeating that no one would like it. After thirty queries and no bites, I gave in to defeat. The next two times have been more manageable. There has been some interest and I prepared myself for the months and months of nothing. Still, my neurotic brain can't help but allow the pessimistic voice to creep in. You know, the I'm-not-good-enough thing. It's a human reaction or maybe it's the lack of confidence and daily reminder that it may be true. I have developed more of a thick skin about, in fact, I think I expect rejection more than I expect someone to say they like it and want to read more.

But enough about that downer. I don't want to start complaining because I've been in this long enough to realize it's all part of the game. The one thing I keep doing is writing. On with something else. I have been writing a fantasy, as you know, and it has been my biggest problem child. I started to get frustrated and discouraged with it. The problem is--the story will not leave me alone. I'm anxious to get the first draft down in order to let it sit before revisions. But when I sit to write it, I overthink it and ask too many questions so nothing gets done. This has happened to me before, but it usually doesn't go on as long. Finally, after much anguish, I decided to just let it sit for a while and go to something else. It's funny how things come back around. My frustration with this fantasy is I'm forcing myself to think too much about it. Where's the creativity in that? I'm pushing myself and that leads to bad writing. I was missing that joyous, giddy feeling I get when I write. That feeling seemed to fizzle at some point--between learning more about the business and pressuring myself. So what do you do?

Well, you either start something new or revise something that made you feel awesome at one point. Since no new characters were burning in my brain, I decided to revisit an old shelved novel that used to make me all smiley. I don't expect anything from it other than jumpstarting the happy fuzzies and hopefully getting me out of the funk I've been in. So far, it's working. I'm looking at it differently and moving things around, playing with structure to make it flow better. The characters are like long, lost friends. We're picking up right where we left off. It's comforting. I'm not sure what I'll do with it when I'm done. It had been queried at one point, you know the one with thirty rejections, but it'll make me happy to see it in better shape than it was.

How do you get out of your writing funk when you get down?

What do you do while you wait for your queries or submissions to be answered?

Have a great weekend!!