Thursday, August 27, 2015
Highs and Lows of the Writing Life
My husband snapped this picture of me with my grandson at a park in PA while on vacation in June. We're waiting in line for a ride. The guy behind us--a stranger. The way he's pictured gives me the shivers if I let my imagination run wild.
That's what I intend to do. That's what I want my books to do.
Last week was a turning point with my writing. Highs and lows. After reading the beginning of my latest work, my agent decided to shelve it.
I don't blame her now.
Her decision didn't sit so well with me at first. She said the story needed more 'sit on the edge of your seat' stuff. The opening dragged. Something every writer dreads hearing.
So I gave her the first three chapters of the story I'm writing now--suspense. She loved it.
She also took the time to show me through detailed edits how I could further improve it,
I finally got it. No more writing to impress the reader. Just write the story. Make it move. And make it a good story.
For a moment last week, in the throes of my poor me cry, I wanted to quit writing forever. Why should I waste any more time in my life creating something that ends up being worthless? I ranted and debated alone in my house, telling myself I should just get a real job where my time meant something. If you're a writer, I'm sure you have been there. Many times. So have I.
You would think rejections would roll off me by now. They don't. They stick a little.
I finally took a deep breath and read her suggestions. It struck me by the second page what she was talking about. I needed to change my writing style if I wanted to keep a reader's interest.
So I ordered two more books on writing, plus delved into the pile of fiction I've been meaning to read. My agent not only turned me around but helped drive me to the place I should be headed.
Not every writer gets that chance.
There will be highs in writing and there will be those lows. It doesn't matter how thick our skin is or how well we think we are prepared.
Because this is writing. Can you relate?