Monday, June 21, 2010

Emotions of the writing process



What emotions do you see in this cartoon? Someone jacked up on caffeine? A person in the midst of writer's block? A writer finishing a manuscript? Stress from a deadline not being met? The picture comes from here and it is supposed to be a contented writer.

I'm not going to blog about that article, I just loved the cartoon. What I want to blog about today are the emotions that go along with writing because this is a very emotional business. Here are some thoughts: if I could only finish this manuscript, if I could only finish these revisions, if I could only get requests, if I could only get an agent, if I could only go on sub, if I could only get a deal, if I could only finish these editor revisions, if I could only like my cover, if I could only get on the shelf, if I could only sell enough books to earn my advance, if I could only write another book...it starts over, minus finding the agent, hopefully.

It never ends. Ever. Unless one decides to stop writing. Even if one becomes the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, he still has to come up with new ideas and write more books. Some pressures and "if onlys" go away or change into other "if onlys" and new pressures, but it is an ongoing cycle.

Writing suits me. Being an only child, I had to have an active imagination to keep myself company, plus I've always lived in a fantasy world of one type or another. The entire publishing industry fascinates me and I'm enjoying every step and each new thing I learn. There are times I just want to give up. Times I look at my wips and hate them, or am tired of the characters. There are times I'm discouraged, times I'm happy and times I'm just blah. But I continue on because writing is an outlet for my creativity and a way to stretch my mind. And I have a reason to consume massive amounts of chocolate.

What emotions do you feel during the writing process? Do you ever want to burn your manuscript? Let us know how you feel and I wish you the best of luck in your own writing journey.

10 comments:

Kathleen said...

That poor writer looks like one more thing will send her over the edge.

Renee Pinner said...

I've been wanting to burn mine lately. I go from super stoked, to wondering who will ever want to read my work. But, posts like yours always feel like encouragement and positive reinforcement. At least I'm not alone!

fivecats said...

writing is the clichéd roller coaster of emotions. except the last time i rode a roller coaster i realized, as i was strapped in and the ride started, that i was too old for roller coasters and i didn't like the g-force and the gravity-defying loops and plunges any longer.

i still haven't gotten to that point with my writing.

the key for me is to have someone to talk to/write to about my writing. i recently went through several days of "who am i trying to fool here? i'm no writer and never will be." while responding to some very direct, honest questions about my writing i realized what my problems were and, even better, what the solution was.

writing is far too often a solitary business. we need other people to pre-read, to give us feedback and to help us through the maze we create by spending too much time in our own minds.

...

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I feel a combination of excitement, boredom, energy, fatigue, hope and despair, at different stages of the process. It's all part of the journey! :-)

Kelley Vitollo said...

It depends on which day of the week you ask me on how I feel! LOL. Right now, I'm feeling a little pumped. I typed the end on the first draft of my second YA novel and I can say, it's a pretty great feeling. Just knowing I finished the first draft makes me excited to dig in and start revising and editing. I'm a results person. When I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, there's no stopping me. LOL.

There are days I want to burn my MS though. I think its all part of the journey.

Erinn said...

there are times when I think I am the most awesome writer on the planet, then I get worried about the little things like, the CRAFT of WRITING... that's not important, is it? Oh wait, it is, isn't it?

It's that sort of stuff the depresses me. Lots of times I feel like I'm not smart enough to be a good writer.

Does anyone else feel like that?

Anyway I good way to stay off the roller coaster is to put time between you and your revisions and drafts. I normally go a few months between drafts. It helps me look at something with fresh eyes and I'm less emotionally attached to the project.

Melody said...

You are not alone! I. Have. So. Been. There.

The very act of creating involved so much emotion! You take so much ownership in it, spend so much time in it...it's a wonder we still know our friends and families (or do we?).

Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one who wants to burn her MS. I just blogged about that the other day.. Now I am a bit more encouraged.

Jennifer Walkup said...

Great cartoon! I think I feel every emotion during the process. Stress, worry, fear, elation, depression, excitment, exhaustion, despair, happiness, giddyness, etc.

Tracy Garrett said...

I feel all of the mentioned emotions and then some. As to "Do you ever want to burn your manuscript?"--uh, right now, actually. lol

SM Schmidt said...

I can't burn the manuscript because it lives in my precious computer. But there are nights I want to chuck the laptop at the wall and say lots of profanities. Usually this feeling only happens at the start of a project and ends with more prewriting.