Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm back in writing mode. The urge was with me this past weekend, but . . . house full of guests didn't exactly jive with sitting down and writing. I had to wait until last night, after work, normal ritual, to sit down in front of the computer and start writing once again.

I've been struggling with my writing lately - what do I want, what do I need, is it really worth it, why do I have to work so hard, why isn't it easier to find an agent, why can't I write a fantastic query, why the heck do I have to write a synopsis, will it all be worthwhile in the end, and blah, blah, blah????

Then, I read Rachelle Gardner's post You Have to Believe and all the questions were pretty much pushed aside.

It's not that I don't believe. It's just that I'm human, and it's human nature to doubt and wonder if all the effort is really worthwhile.

I think part of the problem, at least for me, is I'm spending too much time trying to figure out how to do everything - query, synopsis, find an agent, editor, publisher, market trends, popular today, not popular tomorrow - that I've kind of lost my way. There's too much outside influence clamoring for attention and not enough solitude to do what I love to do: write.

Now, don't get me wrong, all that snazzy info is necessary, but . . . do we lose ourselves in the process of publishing so we no longer write?

I did. I have. I probably will again.

The publication process is far from easy. Probably the easiest part is writing the book in the first place. The rest of it - query, synopsis, blah, blah, blah - is the hard stuff.

The hard stuff, at least for me, can get in the way of the easy stuff.

I've realized that taking about twenty steps back is a very good thing. I need to write, not worry about the query and all the other gunk. Yes, those things are important, but not if they impeded the writing process. Not if every time I sit down to work on the query or synopsis I get all stressed out. Not if every time I search for an agent within my niche genre the results are smaller and smaller and smaller because the majority of agents are now repping the hot trend of YA or MG. Okay, it's not as bad as I make it sound. Just a little bit of drama on this fine, allegedly going to be very, very hot here in TN, day. Still, there's a trend toward YA/MG and I don't write YA/MG, so my options narrow even further. Geesh!

Somebody once said "don't sweat the small stuff". I have no idea who, and really don't feel like consulting my best friend Google to find out. The point is, while querying, synopsing, blahing, blahing, blahing might not seem like small stuff, it really is, because the BIG stuff is the writing.

So, I'm stepping back from everything (well, not blogging, because I love to blog) so I can write, so I can read, so I can bond with the boyz (Jesse and James) and my girl (Squeaky) and, of course, most important of all, Franklin. I'm still going to work on my query and my synopsis, I'm still going to do all the research as before, just not with as much fervor as in the past. I want to write. I want the words to spill forth in an endless torrent. I want to rush home at the end of the day, fix dinner, bond, push Franklin out the door, and write until my fingers hurt. Then, I want to curl up on the couch with a book and read for a while. I want to remember (and do) that I love writing, it's not a job, a chore, an obligation, but something I love doing.

I no longer want to lose myself, my way perhaps, in the dream of publication that WILL happen one day. There is a time and place for everything and things happen when they happen, and not when I want them to happen. The journey to publication, for most, is a long and arduous journey. There are bumps in the road, a detour or dozen, and yet, in the end, it is all worthwhile. We (I) just need to remember that the easy part is writing the book and when we (I)lose that concept than, at least in my opinion, we (I) lose something of ourselves (myself).

So, research, query, synopsis, follow the trends, blah, blah, blah, but never forget that you (I) are (am) a writer and the writing should, at least in my opinion, supersede all other aspects.


Davin Malasarn said...

Here, here! I go through cycles, and sometimes I do a lot of research about publishing. It always gets me intimidated, and then I want to throw up. That's when I'm reminded to just forget about all of that and write. It seems like you've been reminded too, and I think that's a good thing!

VR Barkowski said...

It is easy to get sucked into all the things that go along with writing. Research is the big distraction for me. But the more distance I put between me and actual writing, the more onerous pen to paper seems. That's when I begin to wonder if it's all worth it. But I think we all have those doubts. As Rachelle says, just gotta believe. Excellent post.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Oh boy do I hear you on this! I think doing my self-publishing novella project has REALLY changed my perspective on publishing and writing - the writing is the important part. There are so many ways to get our work out there these days that we should focus on the actual work first and then pursue the other paths.

Tess said...

You explain my feelings as of late as well. Struggling with finding my way in this process. It's not easy but we need to focus on the writing.

and try to find a little joy in it all.

thanks, Scott.

Scott said...

Davin – I’m right there with you. It’s a cycle thing with me too. It all just became so overwhelming recently and I seriously began to doubt why I was writing in the first place. Thankfully, I overcame that pesky little hurdle. Well, not so little, but . . .

VR – you’re right. I think the distance, no matter how it’s created, we put between ourselves and our writing is never a good thing. I always try to say it’s all about balance – write, research, immerse in blogs, read, live, etc. – but it is also so easy to overbalance in one area. I think as long as we always find our way back to our writing, our joy, then we’ll be just fine.

Michelle – I think we all get lost in the dream of publication and, at some point, lose track of why we started writing in the first place. I didn’t start writing to get published. I started writing because I wanted to know what happened to some characters after ‘The End’. At some point, publishing became an option, but a part of me misses those endless days of writing, writing, writing . . . just for me.

Tess – there’s always joy in the writing, it’s just the rest of the crapola that’s not so joyful! Ha! I know we’ll all laugh at the struggle one day, once we’re on the NY Times BestSellers list, but it’s not so funny as we’re going through it. The good thing about blogging . . . I always find out, not that I didn’t know in the first place, that I’m not alone in this struggle! : )

Annah said...

And a damn fine writer you are :) I enjoyed your post.

Annah said...

And a damn fine writer you are :) I enjoyed your post.

Lauren said...

Your post is so true! Sometimes, I wonder if all this time that I'm putting into my first novel will be worth it. But you're right: we write because we love it. We need to focus on that. Hopefully, the rest will follow n due time.