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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Life Lessons






This is January’s contribution to Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group.  To read more participants, read here.

Over the last month, life delivered challenges.  So much so, at times I thought, "I really can’t write now.  I’m too preoccupied.Once or twice I gave into it and perused blogs during my regular writing time, but all that did was add to the storm-surge inside of me, by making me feel worse for not writing.  Not helpful. The next time that temptation settled over me, I shrugged it off.  Instead, I sat down in front of the thing I sent out to sixteen agents last winter (one full read, seven no-thanks and the rest dead-air) to incorporate lessons I learned during my Grub Street writing classes last year. 

Two weeks later, I’m two-thirds the way through, not revising as much as fixing my writing.  Between a long manuscript rest and objective feedback from a professional in regard to my foibles, there is a lot of cutting going on.  And while I’m working on it, real life blurs in the background.  I’m not sure where the effort will lead for this particular manuscript.  But, whatever.  Doing this thing I love gives me a reprieve, from well, things I don’t love.  When I’m writing, I’m working to conjure up the most conflict, the right rhythm, the strongest images. And I can’t do that if I’m dwelling on other stuff

I don’t spend a lot of conscious time wondering if I’ll be published, though it’s a background hope, a quiet brook running at the heart of me.  But these last few weeks have delivered proof that even if I never attain that goal, writing is my salvation.  It gets me through.  And then I move on.


If you are interested in a little more educational reading, here's a link to a great article from Writer's Digest: Important Writing Lessons from First Time Novelists.
 

14 comments:

Lisa said...

I too often find that writing "feeds" me, calms me down. I've heard other writers say they take the angst from their "real" lives, all that "stuff" they don't love and transform it right into what it needs to be in their stories. Sometimes that works for me. Sometimes it gives me the added oomph I need to get through a particular scene or dead space. Happy new year!

Yvonne Osborne said...

How true, "the quiet brook running through the heart of me." No truer words were ever spoken to or by a writer. But it's also true, even if I'm never published, I won't regret a single word.

Nana Prah said...

I think with your love of writing it will lead you to where you should be in the publishing world. Enjoy it. Happy New Year.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats on getting back to the trenches. It's so easy to get discouraged or distracted but perseverance wins in the end.

M. J. Joachim said...

Just keep writing, even if it's only in your heart. Words need to be released to set us free.

Misha Gericke said...

I know what you mean. At one stage, I could go for weeks without writing, but nowadays, taking a break feels like more work than just writing, editing or revising.

Best of luck with your revisions. :-)

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh life. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Same is true for querying. You can only get better at writing. so just keep on keeping on.
I'm pulling for you.

Reena Walkling said...

Good for you for pushing on. Writing is such a solitary task, that it is so easy to let the world push its way and interrupt.

Bish Denham said...

Looking into a MS that's been set aside for a while can often be invigorating, a way to get back into the swing of slinging words.

dunmurderin said...

I've had days when writing has centered me and brought me back to myself. Or maybe a better way to say it would be that it takes me out of myself and my problems and puts me somewhere else for a while where those problems don't have the same grip over me.

Glad to hear that your writing brings you a measure of peace and tranquility and good luck with your edits.

Linda King said...

I like that: 'writing gets me through - it's my salvation'. I feel happy when I write (most of the time), so I agree. The process is therapeutic, whatever the outcome!

Kittie Howard said...

I've had stretches of days when just looking at the computer makes me want to run like the wind. One can only do so much before a certain blahness takes hold, regardless of how much one loves what one does. But as long as writing nourishes the soul, the spirit returns. Good look with your editing! Know all will work out!

readfaced said...

Thank you for reminding us why we started writing. It isn't only for getting published. We write because that is what we do...even to help us through tough times.

Leanne ( http://readfaced.wordpress.com )

Carol Kilgore said...

Welcome to the life of a writer. We all have times like this. And keep writing. You will, too.

Hugs.