A to Z Challenge 2013

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Dose Of Reality...In A Good Way

I don't know about you, but I have noticed lately a problem in my thought processes. I have had this sense of urgency building in my head, this feeling that nothing I am doing is happening fast enough. I attempt to write as often as possible, and sometimes I'm successful at that. The WiPs I'm crafting however, are not being built as quickly as I would like. Whether its my lack of organization or my muse just being miserly, the words do not come out with any expediency.
So the question I asked myself this morning was this: What do I need to do to change my process? What's going wrong here that I am so frustrated and stressed? I did not immediately find any answers of course, my muse continuing to hang out in the corner snickering at my inability to motivate it.
As I was browsing through blogs, I noticed an unspoken (and sometimes outright shouted)theme running through many of them. The writing industry has a pace. It's a heartbeat that runs through every publishing house, every agent. The pace is slow; it takes a great deal of time to go from inception to publication. No matter how much we as authors wish it were otherwise, it's not going to change anytime soon. This isn't necessarily a bad thing however. I related to my son a mantra the other day, one that I have to remind myself of from time to time. Everything happens at its due time. I'm not going to delve down into a philosophical discussion about whether Fate exists or if God has a plan, but I do believe that things happen when they are supposed to.
How is this a good thing for writing though? For starters, knowing that there is no quick path to publication (other than self publication, of course) makes us as writers take the time to think about our writing. We spend alot more time going over and over our works, because we know that the road ahead is long, and there's no reason to work for a year on a book to have it rejected due to poor writing. Agents/Editors/Publishers continue this process (perhaps unconsciously) by searching through massive amounts of proposals in order to find one or two decent books worth publishing. By the time it's all said and done, a worthwhile story graces the page. Yes, sometimes poor writing does squeak through (cough...Twilight...cough), but the hope is that most of these rotten apples have been thrown out.
The dose of reality is that our task is difficult, it takes a long time to complete, and we are not alone in our struggles. Everyone has to go through this process (even it seems easier for some), and the number of successful books published is inspiring. With regards to my own process, I just need to plow through the rough patches, continuing to write. I have to keep in mind all the rest of you out there working at the same task, all of us in the same proverbial boat. It's not always fun, but the successes of others remind me that it'll be worth it.
Do you struggle with the pace of publication? Or have you found methods to ignore/bypass your own impatience?


TereLiz said...

So what you're saying is you're not going to make the time go faster by reading the other three Twilight books? But think of all the inspiration you could be garnering from her profoundly drawn characters and sublime plot twists...

In all seriousness, yes, I do struggle, especially when one day I'll write 3K and the next day struggle for 150. It's frustrating writing that way, but querying, now that is the true test of my patience.

I believe things happen when they are supposed to, too, even it doesn't make sense. It's easier than blaming yourself for not having the right novel concept at the right time, or planning to be agented by a certain time and winding up disappointed.

Elizabeth McKenzie said...

You hit it on the nose, Eric. You are the god of your book and God don't make no junk. Don't you wish you could work at God's pace?

Thanks, you've inspired me in a couple of ways. I thought about a blog topic and I'm ready to crawl through my WIP.