I was just lamenting my general “meh-ness” to my dearest husband over lunch. I told him that I felt stuck in my writing progress, that I didn’t seem to be getting any better, even though it’s something I work at almost every day.
He smiled a knowing smile and said, “ah, the cycle continues.”
I frowned. I probably gaped a bit, too. I said, “Whaaa?”
He has an interesting perspective, I suppose, living with someone who wants to be a published writer. I’ve never heard it from his view before. He said that my writing life is all highs and lows — to the extreme. One minute, I’m bouncing out of bed at 6am because I have a new idea, and the next I’m certain that everything I’ve written is doomed. DOOMED, I tell you!
It’s something he’s seen a lot, over the years, and lucky for me he finds the whole thing hilarious. It must have appeared funny to anyone watching. I was there, having this End Of The World moment, and he was laughing his head off.
He looked me in the eyes and spoke from the heart. He told me I’ll be fine in a day or a week. Soon, I’ll be back on the up-up-up when the next exciting thing begins.
It doesn’t feel that way right now.
But then again, it never does.
It’s hardly surprising, given that the road to publication (and beyond!) is laced with the unknown. When submitting to agents, you have no real idea how they’ll respond. And when they do, you have no idea if each rejection is the norm or an anomaly. Then when it comes to editing, you read your own work, over and over, until it all blurs into alphabet vomit.
Did this change make it better? Or worse? Don’t ask me, I just wrote the damn thing!
We’re almost at the “submitting to publishers” stage now — or as my writerly friends call it, THE NEXT CIRCLE OF HELLLLLLL — and it’s almost like being back at the beginning again.
I can feel the band getting back together: Insecurity on drums, Anxiety Dreams on bass, and Crushing Self Doubt on guitar. They’re tirelessly loud, all working as one, drowning out the little reedy vocalist, Hope.
So my husband smiles his knowing smile. Because he can see, as clear as anything, that this is all temporary. It’s an emotional bump in the road, and not the end of the world at all. Soon, I’ll be off on the next adventure of adrenaline and excitement, and this will all feel rather silly.
That is, until the cycle begins again.
Ups and downs and ups and downs. That is the writer’s journey. And it’s all worth it. Every last second. Even on my most MEH of days, I’m insanely grateful to have made it this far.