Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Courage

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I was recently telling my hubby that writing was a bi-polar experience. A huge high one day when you get a request for a partial/full or a good critique and then a huge low the next day when a form rejection comes in the mailbox.
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He laughed.
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I thought...hmmm...maybe that could be a discussion point.
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It takes courage to be a writer. We are putting our hearts and souls out there and asking total strangers to validate what we do. I believe that 'voice' is akin to 'soul' and found a great discussion and post over at Lady Glamis' blog on that very point. So this is the hard part...if we put our souls into the work (in an effort to create an authentic voice) - how much courage does it then take to submit that work?
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A heck of a lot.
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When I was blog hopping, I came across a great post that hit on this very idea. It was found over at Half Crazy Mommy (funny blog and super cute kids!)
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When you type the amazing words, "THE END"....do you get butterflies? What now? What is my next step? Will others love it like I do? Is it right? Is it really finished? Is my life ready for any changes this might bring?
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Or, my personal favorite: Am I fooling myself? (pathetic, I know - but oh, so true)
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Please tell me I am not the only one who has those thoughts :{ I quite often feel 'too close' to the work to really see it objectively. Hence my desire for an agent who will partner with me in this journey. But, will I ever snag an agent if my work isn't perfectly polished to begin with?

See? Courage -- and a bit of a thick skin. That's what I have to work on developing each and every day.

How do you do it? Any ideas and help would be sincerely appreciated!!!!

14 comments:

StrugglingToMakeIt said...

Tess, you are definitely not alone. I know how you feel as I'm sure many others do. I often say writing gives me a mild case of schizophrenia. It's really hard to put yourself out there creatively, I agree. I left a reply to your comment on my blog that addresses just these issues.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the compliment on my babies and blog! ;oD I'm with you on being able to see it objectively. I'm in the rewriting phase now and I look at it and think, "I know what happens next" or as my husband says so wisely, my brain fills in what isn't written because it already knows the story.

Courage isn't something we're born with. I think courage comes with experience. Do we know its good? If we do, we'll be more apt to sending it out. If it's not, I think a sixth sense tells us not to bother. I know I have finished several novels I haven't done anything with after typing the END. there are too many issues for me to deal with.

but now as I'm growing and learning my craft, the book I just finished tells me it's the first with the most potential. I'm excited about sending it out. Maybe not so much when I get the rejection but as I always say:

Each rejection is one rejection closer to an acceptance!!!

Lady Glamis said...

Ah, I wish I knew how to distance myself from my work enough to see if the voice is coming through or not... or to get the courage to just send it off in the first place. It is very hard.

It's a hard journey, but you aren't alone. I promise. Art is never easy, especially beautiful art worth sharing.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I look forward to learning more about you. :D

Lady Glamis said...

And I just realized that you wrote the piece I LOVED on Miss Snark's last contest. My main character in my novel Monarch has the last name Love. I'm a bit jealous you chose the same name, but I doubt we have the same story. LOL!

LexiconLuvr said...

I'm still in the process of this journey but though I can't fully relate, I do understand that terror of sharing the soul. You're not alone. You're already doing so well! Keep up and don't ever give up. =]

giddymomof6 said...

Hang in there! I thought I was going to DIE before I got my agent, you have no idea! I went through tons of feelings of worthlessness and dispair, but through lots of prayer and great writing friends I've met online I was able to get my book up to par and snag an agent. you just have to believe in yourself and believe that this is what the Lord needs you to do! Hehehe! Which of course he does! Jenni

lucent1 said...

So true! We all know it takes courage...I sat on a few novels for years before I finally got the gumption to rework them and start submitting.

Love the comments...especially about how experience and knowledge helps w/ that feeling (right on, Stephanie) and also appreciate giddymomof6's comment....LOVE that she ended up w/ an agent and LOVE that she felt just like be before she did :)

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

I once read a quote from a friend of JK Rowling, who said the hardest part for her (the friend) was when JK was done with a book and was getting ready to send it to the editor. That's when JK would call her in the middle of the night, worried that the books was "utter rubbish" and everyone would hate it.
I think it's a safe bet that we all suffer the pangs of insecurity. I know I do.

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Oops...I meant 'the BOOK was...' not books.

Jody Hedlund said...

It is incredibly hard to be objective with our work and get it perfect. We can either think our work is fabulous (and send it out before it's ready). Or we can hit the opposite extreme and think our work absolutely stinks (and never send it). To help me get more objective, I've hired a critique service to give me professional, objective feedback. It's been a great experience. I'm still in the process of getting my current WIP critiqued and I love both the positive feedback and the challenging stuff. I needed both.

Tess said...

Thanks you guys! Thanks for popping over and thanks for commenting and thanks for reminding me of the amazing community of writers that is out there!

Some really great comments and thoughts going on here :)

Lynnette Labelle said...

Courage, thick skin, luck, patience... It takes all that and more. Fun, isn't it? ;)

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Cindy said...

Oh boy does it take courage! A big part of that is committing to something that you can never be too sure about. You may love your manuscript but will others? You may think your query letter rocks but then you get rejected time and again. And most of the time you can never really be sure of the outcome of what you will write (especially us new writers). Will it get published? Will people buy it? It takes courage to commit to something so vague and sometimes unforgiving. But we also get the great pleasure and satisfaction of creating something from nothing and potentially reaching people with our words. What other endeavor could be so totally fulfilling? Only something that comes from the heart. Keep encouraged. Creating a book is pursuing a dream. I'd say that is reward in and of itself.

Wendy said...

I think it takes courage and an ounce of crazy...the crazy is what makes us risk again and again and keep at it even after we get rejected. Hey, I read on someone else's sight that you got requests for fulls! Awesome...an agent has my partial...who knows...this waiting game (it's enough to make you crazy :)

~ Wendy