Saturday, January 15, 2011

Writers Indigestion

Do you ever feel like your plate is beyond full? Like going to a smorgasbord and having some rotten friend load your dish with everything they know you love but couldn’t possibly finish in one sitting? Or that if you do eat it all in one sitting, you'll have a major case of indigestion? Something no amount of Tums or Rolaids can cure.

Seeing everything that is at this moment on my plate, it’s all good. There are very few proverbial peas. That doesn’t make it any easier to see the pile that is in front of me, or the fact that I have to tackle it all myself. And if I’m being totally honest, there are days that I feel completely overwhelmed at what I have on my plate. I’m not complaining, but this is a truth I didn’t expect once I got an agent.

I get the feeling that this is common issue for writers. We want to write, we want to be published, known and loved for the passion we put into each novel. Each rewrite of our current manuscript, query or synopsis brings us that much closer to the holy grail of writers.

The Contract.

As if the Contract will make our live better, easier, the words we once stumbled on will now flow like smooth warm chocolate onto the pages of our work in progress. I think that is a fallacy that needs to be debunked.

I still struggle with writing, the dreaded block visits me still from time to time, I panic when I think I haven’t met my personal quota and I wonder if the day will come that a publisher will give me the bigger CONTRACT, despite my belief in my own work. Perhaps this is too much honesty, perhaps all of my fellow writers only want to hear about how great it is to take that step, to have an agent, to be able to say you’re represented. It is great to be able to say that. But I think that would be a statement that would be obvious. What doesn’t get talked about often enough is the hard part of the journey.

I read a blog sometime ago, and I wish I could link to it to more clearly define what it is I’m trying to say. Writers (myself included) can get totally caught up in the next big step, forgetting that there is always going to be another step. Agent, publishing house, debut novel, bestseller list. There will always be something that we reach for and if we don’t appreciate the journey, we end up no longer loving the path we tread, nor appreciating what it is we have. That is my goal, the whole point to this post. I vow to more fully enjoy each step, to remember why I write, the root of my passion and the reasons I put pen to paper.

And I hope you do the same.


Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah. I know exactly what you mean. I felt it the first time I had an agent ask for the complete manuscript, right after an editor told me she'd look at it, but I needed to cut 17,000 words first. This came at a time when I was teaching a class for the first time and had to write lectures, grade, and so forth along with my usual job. That was over a year ago, and I still have knots in my shoulders to show for it. I think you're exactly right -- remember why you're doing this in the first place. It's the only way to stay sane...

Dee Avila Books said...

I enjoy your blog and the words of inspiration and encouragement you give always. Thank you for sharing your steps, tough or not, through getting to the big step and BIG CONTRACT!
Thank you for your honesty, as someone that is just becoming serious about my writing and trying to learn all that I can, I enjoy learning from you.

Shannon said...

hey Deven, Thanks for the kind words and encouragemrnt. I'm very happy that someone is getting some tidbits out of my rambling blog. :)