Life is never easy. It’s filled with situations bringing tears, unknowns, pain, brilliance and joy.
And sometimes, writing feels just like life.
Every writer has a story all their own. Whether it is a beginners and their first steps, those somewhere in the middle, veterans published with their words out in the big, bad world. All carry words of wisdom, something to learn, hope to accomplish our shared dream – our words out in the world, enjoyed by others and perhaps, some wisdom imparted.
We write, revise, edit, revise some more, send to Critique Partners and Beta Readers, revise and edit yet again, until we can recite the entire book from memory. Followed by the girding of loins, lots of faceplants, and doubts as we prepare queries/blurbs/synopsis to send our imaginations, words, and written babies outside of our preferred writing medium.
If you are self publishing, you can add doing it all – cover, formatting, marketing, and ten million other things – yourself to the levels of What Was I Thinking in the Empire State Building, which I believe tops the needle lightning rod thingy.
Good gravy, it’s enough to drive people already living in Crazy straight to the metropolis of Insanity.
One of the ways to combat that one way road trip? Laugh. Laugh a lot. Find your funny bone, your humor, laugh at yourself, your critters, in the way you tripped over absolutely nothing.
Shoot, laugh at me. It’s okay.
Over a year ago the opportunity to dedicate myself to writing popped unexpectedly into my family’s life. I’d been writing full length novels (60k+ words) for the last three years, but had no clue what to do next. Our move to Wyoming let me stay home and learn.
It’s been eighteen months, six seasons, five hundred and forty-seven point five days. During that time I’ve learned how to lessen passive writing, to spot scenes of such poetic visuals as to draw a tear to the eye – and cut those buggers from the manuscript. I’ve learned to critique for others, to love red ink, try to write queries/blurbs (Kryptonite, anyone?), and realize while my stories may be similar to others, they carry my unique signature.
But the biggest lesson I learned the hard way? To have a sense of humor. To laugh at myself, the mistakes I made – and still make – and find the funny silver lining wherever possible.
Rejections hurt and cause gaping holes in our egos. Every story has a piece of my heart, sprinkled with a little soul for spice. How can they not love it as I do? Rejections can make an author doubt their talents, abilities and imagination.
I’ll use this example: I was writing the rough draft of an Urban Fantasy and gathering every critique possible as I go. In other words, I sent it out in rough draft. I’d gathered more than thirty, and was only halfway done. I read the pointers, and often ended up laughing with tears.
I wrote the following line: “I hugged myself tightly, wrapping my arms around each other.” I’d turned the MC into a pretzel. Luckily, the agent who critiqued it thought the line worthy of four sentences of puns, sarcasm and a “I haven’t laughed this hard in ages. Thank you.” She knew I sent a rough draft, and quickly forgave me. Go ahead, laugh. I did. It is funny and worth a lot of comments. I don’t mind – anymore. Before I might have thought about walking away, cursing my stupidity.
We are human, we make mistakes. Although I’m thinking of applying for that superhero job.
Learn to laugh at your mistakes. An MS received a full request from an independent publisher. After I ran around the room, squealing with glee, jumped up and down while trying to hug the Hubby, made a complete fool of myself, Hubby had to force me to send the MS. I sat there, deer in the headlights expression, wondering what on earth I’d gotten into this time. I quickly tapped an email, attached the MS and clicked on “Send” before I could change my mind.
Only to find out I’d left
out pertinent information such as: My name. Contact information. Other info requested by the editor. I was mortified. Burned so red with embarrassment I gave myself a headache.
Kept thinking, What a bloody idiot! Great email, ya Spaz! I sent the info, apologizing, but made a few remarks aimed in my direction.
I laughed after the second email. So did the editor – who talks to me on Twitter at least once a week.
I currently have a great story to tell others, let them know they aren’t alone. It’s worth a laugh, and has helped quite a few relax.
Moral of this rambling blog? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Let the mistakes be a stepping stone, I doubt you’ll do it again. Laugh, see the humor, and create the fun. And most of all, enjoy this journey. After al
l, it bears your indelible signature.