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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Stress and Delight - IWSG December 2021




It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing and generous  Alex Cavanaugh. Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: PJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray! To find links to other IWSG contributors, click here.

This month’s optional question: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

Querying and all that goes with causes me the most stress lately. It's challenging and time-consuming to research agents and it seems more often than not, even those who seem like an absolute fit respond with something like: “Intriguing premise and solid writing, but but I'm focusing on _______ (fill in the blank) at this time.” I play mind games with myself before I send a query, rereading my letter a million times for typo’s then waiting until the computer clock lands on a number I like before pressing send. Even-numbers are good. Digits that correspond to important dates are better (say, 7:22 for my birthday). Sometimes I simply wait for a number I like, say 4:56 or 2:22. When it comes to querying, nothing replaces a good story and strong writing, but timing and luck can’t hurt. We’ve all heard tales of agents who turned down a particular project for whatever reason, only to have it end up as a best seller, right? (Woe to those who rejected Harry Potter back in the day!) So, in that vein, I play as many odds as I can. Maybe 4:44 pm is exactly the time all the good juju in the world will land on a particular agent and they’ll fall in love with one of my novels. Okay. It's a stretch, but it isn't hurting anyone!

As for what delights me, well, the writing of course. There’s nothing better than landing in that zone where ideas and words collide and find their way to the page. How grateful I am for the days I sit down to edit a line and look up hours later having lost myself in my story. I suppose the soul-defeating nature of querying is a small price to pay for something that brings such joy.

What causes you stress in writing these days?