Tuesday, October 6

When the Shine is Gone

A CP told another CP the other day to "just keep writing, whether CP #1 felt like it or not." That's not an exact quote, btw.
But it got me to thinking. Scary! Ha!
Anyway, what does drive one to keep writing when the shine is gone? I see so many new writers who are so sure they've got a winner, a publishable book, then when the CPs or editors or agents don't love it as much as the author does, they are devastated. Many of them quit. Some go the self-pub route.
But what makes one dig in, get tough, cowboy up?
Is it sheer grit, determination to prove everyone wrong? Or is it the love of writing?
For me, it's all of the above. I just cannot quit.
Oh, trust me, I've tried. A lot. I get so discouraged somtimes. It's hard sometimes to see so many people "pass me". Sell. Hit the best seller list.
I won't lie. I want that so bad it hurts sometimes. I'm honestly happy for my friends, but I wish my turn would come, too.
I write because I have the need. Like a drug, it owns me. I put it away, but it comes after me, finds me, won't let go. If I don't write something, I go brain-dead. The characters inside start screaming to let them out. No, I don't need a padded room, ask any author!
I wrote the story of my heart about 10 manuscripts ago. I think I've finally buried it with a last rejection about a month ago. The shine is definately gone off that one.
But I think I have new one that's perfect for Intrigue....


  1. Like you, for me it's a combination of all of the above. I write because I *have* to. I can't stop, even when life gets in the way and I know what I'm writing is dreck. I just keep pushing. I also have a strong I-Told-You-So side - people told me I'd never be a television anchor. I did it. I've had a lot of rejections, but rather than making me quit, it just makes me try harder.

  2. Yep, we've been hanging onto the dream for a long time, haven't we?
    I think you're about to bust through! I'm so excited I'm about to burst!

  3. Mine is hiatus writing. The 'shine'moves out quickly for me on my writing. I just don't feel IT. I have yet to find the story that is my heart-felt source. A write that keeps me motivated. I know all the rules, the set-up, the details that make an ms stand out...that is why I make a great CP and a fairly decent teacher. But, in my writing...I have yet to complete an ms. This week I am thinking mystery/horror and I have the beginning scene sketched out. Who knows...maybe this one will be it.

  4. D'Ann -- I don't know how to tell someone else to keep on, I just do -- I mean, I want to have someone in my corner giving me support, so I do the same. But I feel you. I'm new to this end of the writing side -- the publishing. I'm not sure how to explain why I keep on going, even when I get the rejection -- I guess for the same reasons you do, it's part of me, writing, I don't go a day without it, and I want this, writing, to be what I DO. I want to say, when asked "what do you do?" I want to say WRITE.

    So, will I ever get published? I darn well hope so!!! Ask me in ten years.

    But you know, keep in mind all the really good authors out there, well, they've had their share of rejections. So, keep at it.

    My other advice? Go to a publisher/agent that works with what you have to sell.

    All in all, I wish you the best!

    billi jean

  5. Oh boy, I have been in the "I quit" mood more than once. My husband says I'm the most stubborn person he knows. I think the longest period of time I've quit writing since I've gotten serious is about 3 days. If it's something you really want to do, walking away is impossible.

  6. I wrote the "book of my heart" about 11 yrs ago. It was the one book I just sat down and wrote, and I loved every minute of researching it...it got really nasty, nasty, rejections! It's the proverbial "door-stopper". Ever since, it's been the characters who don't want to always do what I want them to but they keep yelling at me to take one more run at that love scene, or chase scene, or whatever.

    And I have to say, having lived out West on the Prairies (yes, I'm Canadian !) and working in a huge indie bookstore out there - *all* of the bestselling authors we did signings for were self-published. I kid you not! It was the first time I actually saw it can work and work well, if you have the time, money, and ambition to put in to it. Just a point...

    As for writing when the "shine" is gone? It has to have a glimmer left before I toss it in the file box. But, that's just me!

  7. D'Ann -

    I've probably been at this for less time than some people, but I certainly have my days where I just want to throw it all out. Sometimes, I just want to go back to being a reader, but I'm afraid I've ruined myself forever.

    Part of the reason that I keep going is that I would be so disappointed in myself and I can't bear to let my DH down. He's been behind me in all this and to quit now would be like turning my back on him.

    Oh yeah, and there is the fact that I now ask myself several times a week..."I wonder if that would make a good story?"


  8. Yup,

    I'm there with you.

    I might not be quite as far along, but plenty of times I've decided to quit. I gave up on an opera career. Giving up a thus-far-successful-by-other-people's-standards writing career should be a breeze.

    But it isn't.

    Maybe I could let the music go because I was supposed to be writing, because i certainly can't stop. Okay, I did. Once. But I couldn't stick with my decision without feeling I'd let myself down completely.

    So, guess what? I'm still here. And sometimes, that's enough!

  9. Just don't quit, that's all.
    Suck it up, stay the ride!
    Whether or not we all pub is one thing, but we all are writers! That's what matters most!