Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting The Magic Back



My belief is: Before you become a writer, you can’t fully know what you’re in for. Sure, you read about it—or you immerse yourself in the world and have an idea with how hard it’s going to be, but you can’t really prepare yourself for the emotional ups and downs until you live it.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

Act:                            Reaction:


  • New story idea     Pure excitement! Complete faith that “this is the one.” The words can’t fly out fast enough. 

  • Mid-manuscript frustration   Maybe this isn’t the best idea in the world. It isn’t working. Should I continue? I do have that other idea…

  • Moment of enlightenment.     I can do this. There’s still hope. There’s good in this story. I’m going to see this through.

  • Finish manuscript.           Yippee! I did it! I’m SO getting Big 5 with this one!

  • Beta readers.                     I’m crap. Look how much I didn’t see was wrong. If I can’t catch all this, then what hope do I have? I’m so embarrassed. I can’t believe I put myself out there like that.

  • Finish beta edits.              Okay. This isn’t too bad. Thank goodness for good readers. My manuscript is all pretty and shiny now. Agents/publishers are going to love this!

  • Query/Submission.          Lots of hope. The possibilities are endless. Someone is definitely going to want to work with me.

  • Rejection.                        The. World. Is. Going. To. End.

  • Revise again.                    The manuscript is so much better. Rejection is a good thing—it helped me see where I needed to improve. All around, my writing is stronger and so is my manuscript.

  • Resubmit.                        Nervous. But confident. But still nervous.


And the process repeats itself over and over again—though the process may be different depending on where we are on the journey. Whether it’s editors instead of agents, or bad reviews instead of rejection. But the same ups and downs apply: Hope, inspiration, determination. Self-doubt, fear, or writer’s block. 

But the coolest thing is, eventually, we get used to this—it finally clicks that feeling down is PART OF THE PROCESS. And if we know this, if we know there’s going to be these down times, then we realize these down moments are just as important as the ups.

So embrace it.

Don’t fight against it. Embrace that when we’re in a rut, it will pass. Let it be part of you. Let it fuel you. Because if we can love the down part of the process, then we’ve conquered something HUGE:

Fear. Self-doubt. Or whatever else it is that holds you down.

So just because we’re down, it doesn’t mean the magic isn’t going to come back. And one thing I’ve learned is, when we fight through, the magic is even stronger when we get back to work, because we now have the tools and growth to back us up.

Anything else to add?

Red. Head. Out. :D 

57 comments:

  1. All just part of the process! Although I tend to dislike my stuff more in the beginning. Not sure why.

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  2. ...I keep reminding myself that if it were easy, we'd all have bestsellers available, which of course would crowd things a bit ;)

    Great post, Morgan.

    El

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  3. Personally, I love the revision stage, even if it can be quite harrowing. ;) I mean, I got to draft #5 of a novel and then somebody read it for me and...I had to do a total rewrite after getting their advice. ;)

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  4. Ugh, I am finishing a revision for the "resubmit", and I have never been so nervous about a manuscript before. Ever. I've been going back and forth between, "This will work" and "What was I thinking??" every other day for a week now.

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  5. Gah! This is SO TRUE. Right now I'm in the nervously waiting stage. I have hope, but I know there will be rejections. Hopefully soon, but, there's always something that you can learn from the experience if you let yourself.

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  6. Yeah. And we do this to ourselves by choice. Crazy, huh?

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  7. It's a cycle...with yourself, betas, agents, publishers, public...and then you do it all over again. Not easy. But we each have to find a way to cope if we're going to do this for the long haul. It's part of the reality of our work, not who we are. =) I'm all for blaming the muse!

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  8. when we fight through, the magic is even stronger when we get back to work

    Very true. My hubby always says the things most worth having come with the biggest price tag. And often that price tag is the work you put in.

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  9. Awesome post, Morg! I'm now thinking I should embrace the journey more, but man it takes forever and lots of waiting to see the dream come true. As a writer, you MUST never give up! And put yourself out there... And meet awesome writers via social networking! :)

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  10. It does repeat over and over. That's the frustrating part. But I guess we learn every time. I know I keep learning even though I think I've kinda got things down. I don't think I know it all, but there is always something new to learn.

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  11. Yep. This sounds VERY familiar. Ah, the life of a writer. :)

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  12. Very thorough. This is enough to drive any writer crazy. But at least crazy in an organized manner.

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  13. Heh, if your grammar was a bit more wonky, you would have sounded just like Yoda. :D

    Great post and, yes, it's important to embrace the process in order to make the result that much sweeter.

    You hit the nail on the proverbial head, Morgan.

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  14. We put ourselves through a lot, but for those of us who love to write it'd well worth it. Passion and persistence can overcome anything, they're where the magic is and will get us where we need to go. And it is a need. Great post. :)

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  15. STOP! I WANT TO GET OFF! MY STOMACH IS QUEAZY! LOL.

    SO nice to know we are in GREAT company..... Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it worth all the stress, anguish, heartache, frustration, anger, exhaustion, and FEAR? WE all know the answer to this .... YES. WE are creatures of the heart and soul. We are artists, world builders, muses, and magicians. We weave our wordy threads into intricate tapestries for all the world to enjoy. Even it it's just "our" world .... it surely is enough.

    So take heart everyone.... We are the chosen... We are on the rockiest journey anyone could ever imagine, but if we stick it out, there will be peace at the end of our rainbows. Peace in knowing we gave it our all.

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  16. I think one strategy, especially when submitting anything, is to keep detached a bit. At least, you prevent the most beautiful of your dreams to become the ugliest of your nightmares...

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  17. I can so relate, Morgan. Great post! I am at the point of resubmitting/waiting/querying. LOL. I just handed in a year-long R&R and know the agent got the ms and am waiting on her response. In the meantime I am querying. It seems like agents are being REALLY slow...I queried about 3 or 4 weeks ago and have had NO responses. I query the other night and get an R the same day, lol. I know that no matter what happens that my novel has improved SO much and it will find a home -- even if I have to self pub it. :-) Thanks for stopping by my blog; your comments always make my day :-)

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  18. Seriously, how do you get inside my head to write these eerily accurate posts? And how do you get out again? That's something I've never managed to do...

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  19. Life of a writer is hard. But always worth it.

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  20. I just worry that I have no CP to poof this comment brefore I sent it to you?

    What if I make a type O or spell your name wrong?

    Luckily, we're good friends and this was another top-niche post, Leigh :)~

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  21. I SO needed to hear this!!! Thank you!

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  22. Great post and reminder. I try to remember emotions are just that-- emotions. They feel yukky but have no real consequence unless I let them.

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  23. I get some of those feelings too, except for the ones about betas, since I've never had any luck finding those. I tend to feel more frustration as I'm revising a very long book, or even thinking about the prospect of significantly rewriting and restructuring old books I haven't worked with or seen in years. It always feels best after all that polishing, editing, revising, rewriting, and restructuring is over.

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  24. Oi, VERY familiar--and it does go round and round; I think maybe we just get better at shrugging and plodding along while improving our writing.

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  25. YOu could always try writing in lipstick across your hubby's chest. Methinks that could get the magic back. OH my.

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  26. I think you got it covered! It's a long process, though!

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  27. So very, very true! :)I love and hate my ideas/stories/ms/novels all the way through the process. Does it ever end?

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  28. Yeah, I'll add a scathing review. Those stink. But then you get a good one and life is good again.

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  29. I needed this! For some reason, after finishing Part One of my rewrite, I didn't feel happy or "Big 5" I just wallowed in my bed saying this sucks. But I'm editing, and hopefully it will get better :D

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  30. The whole thing is such a roller coaster ride and I haven't even begun querying yet! Something Anne Lamott said in Bird by Bird that stuck with me is to trust the process. That's hard to do when the process has so many highs and lows. Inspiring post as usual, Morgan!

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  31. exactly. up down, thought it was great, its not so great...when is it done? when its on the bookshelf!

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    Replies
    1. I'm at the 'I'm embarrassed, I'm crap phase'. See, I even had to redo my comment because of a typo! Hoping to get over this stage soon! Great post Morgan. (:

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  33. I'm reading through a first draft right now and wow, it's terrible. But yes, I can work through it and find the good and make it shine. I just know it'll take many passes, and many hours of deep thought and hard work :)

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  34. It is difficult, but it is sooo worth it.
    Great post. :)

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  35. OH.SO.FAMILIAR!
    And I HATE some of these stages, while others are wonderful - OBVIOUSLY.

    Right now I'm in a crappy stage and I hope I move out of it soon.

    HUGS to the Morgster!

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  36. Ooh yeah. You make that first writing process sound so short. I've been more than a couple years at my WIP!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  37. Spot on. And it goes on and on with each book. And somehow, for some reason, it is always worth it.

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  38. Love this! "The down moments are just as important as the ups." It's so true!!

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  39. As I've heard so many say, it's all part of the ebb and flow of this crazy, wonderful, downright frustrating, what-on-earth-did-I-get-myself-into writerly journey...

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  40. I ALWAYS have that mid-manuscript frustration. lol. So true.

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  41. Yes it's a part of the process, but for us first time ignorant ones, it does wear on you, and I didn't have a community like this to keep me focused. I gave up too soon, I think, but am still happy to have self-published; I just need to get out there more and market. Wish I could do all this full-time and get the second book finished sooner. But that's the dream we all have, right?

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  42. It's such a relief that I'm not the only that goes through these stages.

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  43. Yeah, it's nice to read this because then you know you're not alone. I mean, you might really KNOW you're not alone, but you feel like that when you're the only writer your physically around. lol.

    I'm still in my down stage--the important part--I know I do this. I know WE do this, lol. So I'm just waiting it out.

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  44. So true...funny to see it written out!

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  45. So true...funny to see it written out!

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  46. This is such a true post Morgan. We have to embrace the process because...well...this is it.

    Forever.

    Haha :)

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  47. I experience a few moments of frustration in between all of those stages!

    Being a writer is really tough. Why do we put ourselves through this??? LOL.

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  48. haha. Love that reaction for rejection. So true though.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  49. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep learning. Keep smiling :)

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  50. Love the act/reaction dichotomy:) Eerily accurate:)

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  51. I love this. So dead on. Writing can be scary...but worth the risk.

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  52. A month later.. and I had to come back and reread this because I'm stuck on the Mid-manuscript frustration part. *Sigh*.. why is it always so stinking cool in my head, and so ugly on paper?

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