We’ve all been there. One minute we’re absolutely HIGH on a new WIP, and the next thing you know we hate it. Next day we love it. Next day we despise it. There’s vodka in my fridge for a reason. Every book is different.
My first novella wrote itself. I couldn’t type fast enough. My first full-length book took some blood and sweat to complete, and the others were somewhere in between. Does each book you write get easier? Let me put it this way – HELL NO. Would I quit if I suddenly won the lottery? HELL NO.
First thing I love about being a writer – I love the process of crafting a story. When I start a new story I feel like it’s Christmas morning. I’m unwrapping new conflicts, discovering new characters, and sharing what I’ve found with my writing buddies.
First thing I hate about being a writer – I hate the process of crafting a story. After all the presents are open, I have to clean up. There are plot holes to fix, characters to flesh out, and Lord knows my grammar isn’t perfect. By chapter three I can see all of the flaws…they blink at me like cheap Christmas lights. Somehow I have to shut off my internal editor and convince myself to keep writing.
Second thing I love about being a writer – Finishing the first draft. It’s DONE. It’s OVER. I crafted a story from nothing but a vague idea, and I made it into a novel. Best feeling in the world!
Second thing I hate about being a writer – Finishing the first draft. Wait. Wait just a damned minute. Are you telling me I have to go back through this POS again? How many editing passes do I have to make? What will it take to make the crap I just spewed out fantastic? Will it ever be fantastic?
Third thing I love about being a writer – Completing that first edit. I did it! I made it better, strengthened the characters’ motivations, added detail…it’s starting to resemble a real book.
Third thing I hate about being a writer – Completing that first edit. Wait. Wait just a damned minute. Are you telling me I have to go back through this POS again? How many editing passes do I have to make? What will it take to make the crap I just spewed out fantastic? Will it ever be fantastic?
Fourth thing I love about being a writer – Finishing my last edit and sending that bitch out to my crit partner. The day I send my ms to my crit partner goes something like this: She’s going to love it. This story is going to blow her away! I totally nailed the GMC, fixed all the grammar, and kept the writing tight. I dare her to find something to red line.
Fourth thing I hate about being a writer – Sending that bitch out to my crit partners. The day after I send my ms to my crit partner goes something like this: She hates it. How could she like the absolute shit I sent her? It’s boring. The beginning of chapter two is nothing but narrative. The black moment is more like a gray moment. Where’s the tension? Where’s the plot? Where’s my drink??
The fifth thing I love about being a writer – Getting a positive response from my crit partner. “Holy crap, this is great! I loved this and that and especially when you didthis.” That’s when I sit back and thank God I didn’t waste my time writing a shitty book.
The fifth thing I hate about being a writer – Getting a negative response from my crit partner. “Dude. Were you drinking when you wrote this? I’d shelve it.” Don’t think I haven’t heard that before. Don’t think you won’t.
Hate is such a strong word. I’m not sure I’d have used the word hate…perhaps dislike is a better word. I experience a lot of ups and downs when I’m writing. There are times I whip right through a first draft, and other times when I struggle to write every paragraph.
Remember the infamous line from Brokeback Mountain? “I wish I knew how to quit you.” They loved each other, but everything stood in their way. There are a lot of things that stand in our way when we write. Kids, work, spouses, housework, so on and so forth. And once you get your story written and edited – which is a feat in itself – you move on to the submission process. Is there anything more daunting for an aspiring writer? Hell, even a writer who has been around the block tends to bite their nails when they hit send.
I can’t begin to describe how many writers I know who have doubts and fears regarding their writing, or even the writing process. We always want to know what another writer’s process is. It reminds me of all the dieting books out there. Dude, to lose weight you eat less and exercise more. That’s it. But everyone searches for that magic pill that will make you a size 6 in a week. Yeah, that’s not going to happen.
Well, a writing process is this – YOU WRITE. Some writers use spreadsheets, others use notebooks, and others create storyboards to keep their plot points in order. Bottom line? They write. You might be a pantser (organic writer, for those who prefer that label), or a plotter. End result? YOU WRITE. There is no magic pill. Writing takes time and effort.
That’s what the love/hate relationship is all about. You doubt, you fear, you triumph, you falter, you persist – all because you love what you do.
When all else fails you tweet or hang out on Facebook.
A multi-published author of paranormal romance, Dawn McClure can often be found at her desk plugging away at a WIP or performing her duties as SavvyAuthors Administrative Assistant and Newsletter Editor. Either way, she can rock both jobs in her PJs. Her weekly article, Sh!t My Muse Says, can be found every Monday here at Savvy. She lives in BFE South Dakota with her husband and two PRE-TEEN daughters (had to caps that for emphasis).