Thursday, August 27, 2009

Motivation

Although my motivation for running is still strong, I cannot seem to garner the same motivation for my writing lately. With running you have instant satisfaction. You see results relatively quickly. It is always satisfying to finish a run, no matter how painful--not to mention the endorphins!

Writing doesn't produce the same results. The work is slow and arduous, and even at the end you don't know if it's any good. There is satisfaction in finishing a writing project, to be sure, but there is also anxiety. I've taken a lot longer than I expected to finish my last bits of work: writing new scenes, cutting scenes that were slowing down the story or unnecessary to its progress, and performing a last read-through.

I am suffering major anxiety as I near the next step. I'm excited to have others read my work, but terrified as well. What if, after all this time and effort, the readers find my novel--as I suspect they will--not quite up to snuff? In reality, it merely means more work, more edits, another revision. I'm more than capable to do that, though I'm sick to death of this novel and ready to move on, no matter how much I love the story. On the other hand--and this is really silly--what if they like it? What if it's ready to go out into the big, wide, scary agent world. Am I ready for that?

Ahh!
(p.s. Thanks for listening to my whinging.)

9 comments:

Kristen said...

Oh, I can't wait to read it! Be brave, Ang. :-)

JJ Beattie said...

Oh yes, I really understand this anxiety but I'm not there yet so I can't offer any advice.

But hang in there, Angie...

Alexa said...

oh I understand where you're coming from. I thought I'd finished until I took a six week break and when I re-read saw I was far from finished - sigh!

Good luck with it. I'm sure you'll get lots of valuable comments form your beta's :)

Angie said...

Thanks, Kris. I am trying to be brave, I swear!

JJ, anxiety seems to be a common trait amongst writers.
Hanging tight...

Alexa, it always seems so great until you go back after a break, doesn't it? *sigh*
Thanks, and good luck with yours too!

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

That's why once you have this step in the process done, it is probably best to put it away - even for a couple of weeks - and do something else. Stephen King in his book On Writing said that he sets the calendar when he is done with a draft and won't so much as look at it until the day on the calendar comes around. When he does, he feels energized to continue working on it.

Angie said...

Good point, Chad. Of course when I'm supposed to leave it for awhile, I get twitchy and feel like I MUST look at it again. :) Ironic, no?
When I'm done and it's set aside, I should reread On Writing and Bird by Bird, maybe that will help.
Cheers!

Rebecca said...

When I was submitting to agents I got so used to rejections that it was the non-rejections that started to really shock me - and then make me anxious.

You're at a really exciting stage, I think. Can't wait to hear how it goes once you start submitting.

Good LUCK! X

Patricia Koelle said...

Ha, it sounds so familiar!
Have a cookie and enjoy the anxiety, it's part of the excitement :-)

Angie said...

Rebecca, I can only imagine!
It is exciting, as long as I don't think about it too much, otherwise I get nervous.
Thanks. :)

Patricia, that's good advice--cookies always keep me happy. I need to learn to enjoy the anxiety though.