Writer's Survival Guide 19: The Flower Factor
I recently spent eight weeks writing a first draft. I spent the next eight weeks revising the book. In between were countless blog posts, Facebook updates, Tweets, and e-mails. Writing is my job, and I love it! But, as with any job, I have to work at maintaining my enthusiasm. I can all too easily convince myself the book isn't good, when the reality is that I'm just not in a good mood.
My first drafts remind me of buds. The potential is there, but they haven't erupted and aren't ready to offer their full beauty. I'm usually not overwhelmed at this point. Coffee and excitement over the new project keeps my stem upright and strong. I want to see the bloom, so I keep working until the draft is done.
These water flowers represent my mood when revising. I know something stunning is there, but it might be hiding under a leaf or drowning in water. I feel wilted. Waterlogged. Surrounded by too many words. I have to look for the beauty. It's not as in my face.
Then there are the disappointments. Maybe we submit to an agent, checking our e-mails constantly, only to realize six weeks later "no response means no." Or we wait by the telephone, praying our manuscript is a finalist in a contest, but we don't get that call. Maybe we get rejected by editors, get a scathing critique...any discouraging news can make us feel we have a dead bouquet in our hands. Yes, it was pretty two weeks ago, but now it's a shriveled up, ugly mess.
That's why confidence is so vital for every writer. If we're going to survive, we have to look at all of our books, stories, articles as vibrant objects of beauty. My first books were not worthy of being published, but they are as beautiful to me as this rose. All of my books are. They came from the best part of me, and that's what will always make them so special, so stunning.
The flower factor means always respecting our work. It IS beautiful.
Do you struggle to view your writing in a positive light at times? How do you overcome this?
Enjoy our Monday!