You know this writerly journey is a constant up-and-down ride, yes? Whether we are drafting or revising or querying or waiting on editor subs, we can swing from euphoria to despair and back again before lunch time. Or sometimes the ride is slower; we'll bubble happily along for weeks, and then SOMETHING happens that tips our little canoe. Suddenly, we're in the water.
Drowning, as it were.
Sometimes the trigger is obvious: We've been waiting for six months to hear back from Dream Agent on the requested full--and we receive a form rejection. Or our favorite crit partner sends us the line edits on our Fine New Baby--and she's ripped it to shreds. Or we finally get an email from our recalcitrant agent--and it's a forwarded rejection from one of our top-pick editors.
And no matter how "together" we are, the emotions of these moments are real and we need to walk through them.
The problem comes afterward, when the SOMETHING casts a shadow on our writing in general. Makes us question why we press on. Makes us despair that we've been doing nothing but wasting time for the past
Sometimes we cry a little (especially if we're female). Sometimes we rail. Sometimes we withdraw. Sometimes we can't seem to put two words together that makes sense.
Sometimes we quit.
All those reactionary things, though, are preceded by a trigger. And aside from the most obvious of all (that would be REJECTION), what are some of your personal triggers? What is it that can send you to the brink of despair (if you're not careful)?
Is it the offhand remark of a non-writing friend? ("So, why aren't you published yet?")
An unsympathetic spouse? ("I'm going golfing all weekend, so you're in charge of the kids. Is that okay?)
A broken promise? ("Dear Client, I'm taking your manuscript with me to the conference so I can have notes to you on Monday. Love, Agent" ...and Monday comes and goes...and the NEXT Monday comes and goes...)
Or are you fairly resilient with the small things?
(I made those up, by the way. Nobody has ever said those things to me. Not yet, anyway.)
Share your trigger points! And share how you get through the dark times without quitting. Because someone might be reading this today WHO REALLY NEEDS HELP COPING.
That's right. We're never truly alone.