Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blog Chain - Hills and Valleys

Eric challenges us this round of the blog chain with the question:

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being a writer? What is your greatest reward from writing?

I can honestly say that right now, I'm experiencing my greatest challenge so far as a writer. Since going out on submission I've been asked to make some pretty major revisions to my novel. Not once, but twice. The changes require me to take the characters I've spent over a year with and tweak their personalities. Not much, but just enough to make a subtle difference. Let me say, the whole thing is making my head ache. Whereas I'm usually a good reviser and a thoughtful one, this last round was done hastily and thoughtlessly. The end result: a tongue lashing from my agent that I 100 million percent deserved. As it turns out, my downfall in this situation was my inability to relax and realize that publishing moves at its own pace. Period. I can do NOTHING to change that fact. For me, the most challenging aspect of being a writer is the waiting. I struggle with being patient every day. Once I get a grip on the pace of things and learn to accept the fact that I can't hurry it along, I think I'll find my Zen.

My greatest reward in writing is seeing the end result of my hard work. And I'm not just talking about signing with my agent or going out on submission. I'm talking about the creation--the story crafted from my mind and laid out on paper. The intricate weaving of plot and character and story that comes together to form this real-to-me world. Knowing that I can sit down with a stack of Post-its and a Sharpie and outline an entire adventure puts me in perma-grin mode. The smiles and wonderful comments from readers is the icing on the cake. Nothing can compare to the feeling you get when someone tells you: "This was a great book. Really. Great."

Want to know what my fellow blog chainers consider the hills and valleys of their writing experiences? Check out Kate's post before mine, or Sandra's tomorrow.

11 comments:

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

The revisions and waiting sound frustrating, but I hope they pay off for you!

Christine Fonseca said...

I SO hear you!!! Beyond words, I get your pain. HUGS!

Eric said...

While you've obviously had some challenging moments, you're so cool because you're working through them and learning so much (and teaching us all in the process). I still wish I had your ability to organize and plan things out, but then there'd be two truly cool writers - and I doubt the world could handle that ;)

Nice answer!

Elana Johnson said...

Woot! And I know those changes will make your novel better -- and I can't wait to hold it in my hands.

Michelle McLean said...

so true on all counts. Waiting suck big toe. But what a wonderful feeling, seeing that end result :) Can't wait to see YOUR end result on my bookshelf!! :D

nomadshan said...

Best of luck finding that Zen. Waiting is truly a challenge. :)

Sarah Bromley said...

We've done a lot of waiting together, girl, and we'll be doing some more. I've learned a lot from you (and my other wonderful crit partners), and one of your most admirable qualities is your refusal to let this get you down. You take the kick to the stomach, drop to one knee, and instead of falling over your lips snarls and you spring forward. You are determined. And very humble. Getting to work with you is a huge reward for me. :-)

B.J. Anderson said...

Oh, man! The WAITING!! It's the worst. Sometimes I think I'll go crazy with the waiting. Great post.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

Oh gosh, I'm right there with you. Every time I send out a manuscript, I know I've got a long wait ahead, but I can't help biting my nails and wondering why I'm not at the top of everyone's to-do list. I should be a priority darn it ;)

Cole Gibsen said...

Ugh. I so hear you. The waiting is MADDENING. The worst part for me is it how it affects my writing. I mean, who can write when there is email to check?

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Yes, I agree. Waiting is the worst. Sometimes it just makes it impossible to do anything else. And yeah - getting good feedback does make it all worth it too:)