Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Writer's Journey - Falling in Love

The road to publication for writer's, or so I've been told, is long and bumpy.

For the last month, I haven't really been making any progress along that road. At the end of July, I submitted THE DINER ON THIRD young adult manuscript to several agents. And although the response has been mostly positive, I feel like my car's broken down, and I'm waiting on the side of the road for one of the agents to call with the report of whether I'll get moving again.

This is not a good place to be.

After I submitted my manuscript, I knew the best thing for me to do was forget about it (in other words, don't sit in front of my computer, hitting refresh on my email 24/7, waiting for agent responses) and get to work on another project.

I reviewed my list of ideas for future books. There were a few good ones and a few that I had absolutely no idea what I was thinking when I wrote them down. After having lunch with a dear friend, I took her advice to combine two of the ideas into one.

I got excited about it and started writing the opening chapters. I considered character profiles. What are my characters' mottos, motivations, desires, etc? Who's the villain? Who cannot be trusted?

As I got deeper into the "whats" and "whys" the story began to form and became richer, but it wasn't until yesterday that I really fell in love with the idea.

That's really the beauty of writing. When that one detail pops into your head that you have to search for anything resembling paper and any writing utensil (pencil, crayon, eyeliner, or lipstick) to scratch down a few words - that's when you know you're in love.

Then, it happens again.

And again.

Soon, the lipstick details are adding layers, subplots, conflict, and the desire in you to tell the story is impossible to ignore. You lay awake in bed weighing plot points, writing dialogue in your head, and it's a beautiful thing.

Falling in love again feels good. It reminds me of how I fell in love with THE DINER ON THIRD. I hope the agents reading it are falling in love as well, but there's never a guarantee.

When it comes down to it, though, I got that beat up car on the shoulder of the road to publication running again on my own by working to create something new, something better.

With the new book on my mind, at the very least, I can stop hitting refresh in my email. I can walk away from the addictions of Facebook and Twitter. And I can experience the love of telling a story again, spending time with characters that are more like friends, and dreaming of teen readers holding copies of the book in their hands, loving it as much as I do.

"I hold it true, whate'er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." - Alfred Lord Tennyson


  1. I feel like I've been spinning my wheels in much the same way. It's crazy that sometimes it takes a rejection letter to snap me out of waiting, anxious, for word that usually doesn't come for months anyway. I electroshocked myself out of torpor a few weeks ago and it's felt pretty good since.

    Glad to hear the love is back for the new project. Kick its butt.

  2. Thanks! I hope this is the kind of love that Happy to hear the electroshock worked for you! Whatever works, right? Lol. Happy writing!