If I had to describe the biggest challenge I’m facing on the fiction writing front as of late, that is what it would be.
Complete and utter inertia.
Which is confusing, because last year I had so much momentum going during the first draft of my new novel that it practically wrote itself. I would spring out of bed at 5AM and write for a couple hours before work, then I’d race home at 5PM and do the same thing. When my manuscript was done, I revised it a little and sent it off to my editor secretly hoping that she would tell me it was brilliant and I’d be on the agent hunt in no time.
But instead, I got back pages upon pages of notes, which admittedly were filled with very valuable advice. Advice that meant I needed to rewrite most of my manuscript.
I’ve been facing this major revision for several months now, working on it here and there, but I can’t seem to find the momentum that carried me through the first draft. Five o’clock in the morning has never felt darker, colder or less conducive to creativity. And the same can be said for five o’clock at night.
What to do? Give up? Start a new project? Find a new dream? Change my name and go into hiding?
Disheartened, I turned to my husband for my advice. And in his infinite wisdom he reminded me that this is what “real” writers go through.
I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s a great point. It’s easy to look at all beautiful books displayed at Barnes & Noble and assume they were written effortlessly. But I know from many a published friend that this is far from true. In the literary world, no one is exempt from the rigors of revision. In fact, many successful writers credit this painful process with getting published in the first place. Dream chaser, Therese Walsh, went through 3 major revisions (and even changed genres!) during the writing of her successful debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy (Random House).
Even New York Times Bestsellers aren’t exempt. Dream chaser, Allison Winn Scotch, talks openly about the painful revision process she battled through while writing her third novel, The One That I Want (Crown).
I think I’ve been looking at the revision process all wrong. Rather than feeling overwhelmed and hopeless about the massive revision before me, I should take comfort in the fact that most writers go through the exact same thing.
And if I want to be a “real” writer one day, then I must get through it too.
Anyone else out there battling inertia? How are you getting through it?