Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Yucks

Boy do I have them. They start kind of slow and innocent. You get back feedback and you grouse about it and try to continue working on the pretty shiny project you've been working on. Then you get feedback on a different project and you grouse about it and try to continue on pretty project. Everything stops.

The words no longer sound right coming out of your characters' mouths. Did you make the right decision to include this scene? Couldn't they do something interesting for a change? Is this even worth writing?

Then you decide to work on the revisions and the words you groused about end up being better than your own. Doubt weighs heavy. That other book you haven't touched for revisions yet. Well, maybe it really sucks and you should put it away for longer. Ignore it and the potential it has. Maybe it just isn't your style of writing.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with the yucks. Part of that has to do with waiting, which is part of the business. Part of it is just the fact that I can't be 100% confident all the time. I need those periods of yucks to make myself a better writer. To make myself learn more techniques. To bring my ego back down from whatever cloud it's been playing on. Loving what I do is essential to making the words flow and to get the word count. When I have the yucks, it tears down everything I've worked on, but it will also make me come back stronger. More determined.

Yesterday the words sucked. Today they could be so much better. The story is still there. The potential is still there. It might look like a filthy penny right now, but with a whole lot of elbow grease and shine, it could be gold. A project is never finished. Even after it is published, someone will make you wonder if you could have done something different to make it better. That's what makes an author good. The continuous striving for perfection in her work. The next story will be better and the lessons I learn on that one will make the following even better.

So no more yucks. No more giving up. Only hard work will achieve gold.

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