A weekly addition to my little home in cyberspace is #WriteOnFriday. My chance to encourage all of the writers slogging along this journey to publication. No matter where you are on that road, you will inevitably hit a low point. We all do. Here’s a little pick-me-up from me to you… and now you can pass it along and encourage some of your friends with positive thoughts as well!
In case you had your head in the writerly Twitter sand, you know yesterday was #PitMad. More than thirty-six THOUSAND people were tweeting about it. Which is overwhelming and daunting and scary and just too much.
With that in mind… you might not have gotten any agent/editor love. You might have had repeated dinging from the alerts only to discover that a fellow writer (well-meaning though they may be) accidentally liked your tweet. And you know what?
Let’s be honest, the entire journey can suck. Writing is special and amazing and cathartic and a much more positive outlet for all those emotions than say slashing someone’s tires… um… just for example. It is the act of literally putting your heart onto a sheet of paper and sharing that gentle, fragile vessel with the world.
But it also sucks soooooo bad!
Getting the first draft down sucks because your characters can change every flipping thing on you and drive you insane. And you feel like you deserve a straight jacket and padded cell by the time you type “The End” because arguing with fictional people is NOT normal.
Editing sucks because it makes you feel worthless as a writer and a human. You catch every typo, word echo, and WTFable sentence structure known to man. And at at least one point you will be certain you were writing in your sleep and/or while drunk because coherent, it is not.
Querying sucks because who wants to be rejected? And who wants rejection to come through silence? Exactly no one. (Let us pause in the middle of this rant to say: AGENTS GET REJECTED TOO! When they are shopping manuscripts to publishers, they get shot down as much as writers do, so don’t feel like their life is a bed of roses. It ain’t. And they need to believe so strongly in your work that they fight day after day and face that rejection themselves.)
Self-publishing sucks because… book covers, editors, promotions, marketing, brand building… need I go on? Yeah, every bit of that is hard and expensive and draining. But each step is necessary.
Finally, even traditional publishing sucks. I am certain there are authors right now who are desperate for that contract and cackling maniacally at me saying they wished they had that kind of suckage in their lives. And I GET that because I do too. But then your baby, your heart, that very thing you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into is now out in the world. And the world is a cruel place. You will have someone review your book while PMSing at Christmas with their mother-in-law offering “helpful household tips” as she wanders their house with a white-gloved hand. What I’m saying is: they may not be kind. In fact, they may be hurtful. Let’s go a step farther and say they may be intentionally and maliciously cruel.
There is nothing about this journey that is 100% sunshine and roses and happiness. So you let yourself wallow in the disappointment for the briefest period, jam some chocolate down your throat, and brush off your ass before you get back on that horse.
BUT DO GET BACK UP!
Because if this is your passion then that is all that matters. Success will find you and you will feel complete.