Monday, June 30, 2008
Rollercoaster of Love
Just like any normal relationship, writers have periods of ups and downs with their books. Yes, I realize that stories are inanimate objects, but trust me, we spend as much or more time thinking about them as we do our significant others. Think back to that first blush stage of infatuation. Well, we experience that with our books too. We fall asleep wondering about it and wake up with it on our minds after dreaming of the characters and plot points. We spend the day distracted, turning over various scenarios. And can’t wait until everyone will just go away so we can spend time with it. ;)
But this relationship involves many ups and downs, albeit in a much shorter time period, as you can imagine after reading our comments about wanting to kill off our characters in a fiery crash. The blush of the beginning is intoxicating. I love that excitement of meeting new characters and discovering their story (as a plotter, I do this all at once). Then there’s the actual writing. That’s when I reach my most recent phase…
I recently received a request for a proposal, so I’ve been busting my hump trying to get it ready to mail. I started off with what was probably a pretty decent piece of work. Unfortunately, like any woman who looks at her thighs in the mirror, no matter what her size she thinks she’s fat. Well, no matter what is on the page, I always think it must suck. Because I wrote it. It can never be more than passably mediocre. So I spend my days in a dark cloud, wondering what the hell I was thinking becoming a writer. I spend most of my time during the rough draft stage with this attitude (yes, my husband will confirm that I live in varying degrees of emotional melodrama at all times).
Now the revision stage is a whole different matter! Finally, finally last night I was able to look at my proposal and think, “Well, I may not truly suck after all.” There may actually be something salvageable in this book. Hopefully someone out there will not completely hate it. Maybe that’s why this stage is my next favorite, besides the very first. I can actually begin to hope again.
Ah, the roller coaster of emotions a writer must live on (and the poor people who have to live with us). At least life is interesting, if nothing else…
All you writers out there, what are your favorite stages of work and why? Do you suffer these emotional ups and downs, or am I just a tiny bit psycho? My husband would say… Let’s just not go there.
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