A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the negative swing of the writer’s cycle. I was being a big old Debbie Downer, so I thought I’d write the counter article: the good stuff!
Good stuff: the stuff is pretty…well… good, right now. Is there a better feeling in the world than completing an edit? As ya’ll know, I got to experience this a lot this last year, which has taught me so much.
There’s this feeling I get every time I see one of my manuscripts take a step closer to elusive perfection. It’s a spike of adrenaline, pure and simple. It’s the rush of getting a fresh idea, magnified by ten. It’s sort of a drug to me. Is that weird? That might be weird. But it’s the truth. When I Get Closer, I bounce around for the rest of the day like I don’t have a care in the world. I notice that the sun is out, and I actually want to be in it for a change.
And when things go well on this journey? WOW.
I still remember how my heart used to skip every time I got an email during my agent hunt. No matter what I was doing, everything would stop until I checked that damn email. I remember the first time I had a phone call from an agent (parked up in the car, my cheek burning hot against my phone, voice shaking) and the second (pacing the kitchen in my dressing gown, biting my nails, grinning like a fool).
Even though both those conversations didn’t lead anywhere in the end, they were huge milestones for me. They gave me the hope and drive to continue on this road for another year, which was when The Call finally came.
Getting feedback is always awesome. It makes my mundane life sparkle that bit brighter for a few seconds or minutes. It’s the feel of my dreams at the tips of my fingers, just out of reach. It makes all the hard times worth it a thousand times over when someone in the industry sees something in your work and tells you so.
So yes, the writer’s journey is highs and lows and highs again. Some of my best memories have stemmed from this crazy dream of mine: a surprise night out organised by my friends when I got back from London that first time. My mum sending me a lovely hummus-based care package when she hadn’t seen me for a few days during my editing. My dad asking me if I’m actually capable of writing a happy story (no, no I’m not, in case you were wondering). Simultaneously brainstorming ideas with my agent and eating lunch one-handed at work.
It’s all pretty awesome, until it isn’t. And than we writer-folk just have to remember this cycle will always come round again, and the good times are always worth the wait. Take my word for it.