Being a writer, especially one with internet access, can be a complete roller-coaster of emotions.
Of course, we knew before we begin dreaming of writing that book reviews could be the height of joy or the depths of crushing blows. But, it used to be that you’d only see the professional reviews and could ignore them if you wanted.
Nowadays, it would be better (and less distracting) if writers only knew what people thought of their writing when they had the energy and focus to go look, and prepare to improve their craft.
NOT distracting them from what they’re in the middle of.
NOT when they’ve had a rough day of writing and feel like maybe they should throw the towel in.
NOT when life is dragging them down, and the internet’s nasty review is ready to kick them when they’re already down.
But, when you’re a writer, there’s so many other things that can bring you up and crash you down.
In the past week? I’ve been all over the place. Often on the same day.
My most recent roller-coaster of emotions
Last week? I entered an overnight flash fiction contest — and WON! Well, I won a free book and bragging rights, but it’s still something.
Then I got home to find heavy feedback from my mentor.
When I reread the passage? I couldn’t believe I’d sent that to her. I’d remembered the passage having been edited and being dark — yes. But, a rather different flavor of dark.
I dragged my feet getting back to those edits.
The next day, a dear writer friend, with a story pitch that harkens to one of my favorite moves, announced that she’d been offered representation by an agent.
She’s worked hard, reworked her novel, and dealt with some setbacks. I was so proud and excited for her.
I was also jealous and frustrated to be stuck in revisions. Again.
Writing Requires Resilience, Persistence, and
the capacity to recover from set-backs. Like facing that scene and editing it into something I can be proud of and eager to show my mentor.
Like recognizing my jealousy and longing to be at the same stage as my friend whose most recent query netted her an agent. And accepting the fact that I want to make my novel better before I enter the query trenches again.
firm continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty. I keep writing and putting my work out there.
For that flash-fiction contest? It’s usually posted on Fridays, and open for submissions on Saturdays, for 24 hours. So many times, I’ve created an entry, and then forgotten to post it. But, I still keep my eye on it, and still draft up entries on Fridays.
For my writing? After reading my writing and recoiling in horror, I let that settle in me for a bit. After a day or so, I cracked open that manuscript to see what I could do. And revised it, until I was something I was happy to share with my mentor.
But you know what? I think I can do better. I’m going to edit that chapter again.
And for querying friend? I’m so proud of her and I can’t wait to be in her shoes again. I know I’ll be ready to put myself back out there, when my time comes.
persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
My win? It took a bit to get there.
I tried to post from my phone, but it wouldn’t let me. I tried again hours later, and still nothing. I borrowed a friend’s ipad, logged into an incognito window, and finally managed to get my 100 word entry entered.
Several finalists were announced, and the judge asked for input. No one voted for mine. A couple people wanted me to explain in.
Despite the lack of votes and assurance, I found comfort in making it to the finals, and despite all odds? I WON!
As for my writing. I’m going to keep at it. Querying when I can, polishing the rest until it’s something no one can resist — and they start begging for more.
And for my writing friends? I’m going to be there to celebrate their wins, share their writing with the world, and lend an ear whenever stress or setbacks send them reeling.
What sort of emotional roller-coasters have you been on lately?
Do you ever worry you won’t be able to handle it, when your writing gets popular? 😉