Friday, March 25, 2011

The Edge of the Writing Cliff

Late Tuesday afternoon, the long-awaited revisions on my YA contemporary popped into my inbox.  I opened it up, read it, and let out a not so eloquent HUH?  Confused and more then a bit terrified, I did the only logical thing.  I restarted me email and pushed the send and receive button, convinced I had misread the suggested revision . . . that the real one was just lost out there in cyber-space. Unfortunately not! 

I then proceeded to walk to the edge of that cliff us writers are so familiar with, the one that screams “you can’t do this” at us from a million miles below. I promptly hurled myself over the edge and got stuck halfway down.  That someone that broke my fall – my amazingly patient and brilliant agent. 

With nothing more then a calming “I have faith in you,” she led me back up the side of the mountain and away from the edge.  She tossed some ideas out at me, gave me a beginning and an ending point, then told me if I got stuck anywhere along the road just to shout out.  She’d come back to my elusive cliff and help me plot out that perplexing scene or figure out my characters next move. So although that cliff still looms in the distance, my agent has single handily erected a concrete wall around the edge of it and plastered a no-trespassing sign.

We have all hit that point in our writing career at on time or another . . . that place in our subconscious that has us wanting to simply give up. Who do you turn to then?  Who walks you back from that ledge?

14 comments:

  1. I haven't gotten in the position you have (since I don't have an agent or book deal), but reading about the journey of others lets me know that this sort of thing can happen. And, while I'm sure it's devastating at the time, it's part of having this dream job as a "career." I'm so sorry the revisions weren't what you expected, but hang in there. When I'm in the mood to give up, I usually treat myself to a Disney movie with my two-year-old. I remind myself how cool it would be for her to be able to say, "Mommy is a writer." Then I just can't give up :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to hear that you can at least look at your cliff with a sense of humor! And that you have an awesome agent who believes in you. Take it one step at a time...your book will be published!!

    Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well you have an awesome fantastic agent then!! That's exactly the kind of quality I hope to find in one someday.
    And I agree, you CAN do it. We all teeter at the edge of that cliff. But saddle up, cowgirl. Get in there and get busy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Uh, you talk me down from the ledge LOL. You can do this:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like you picked a wonderful agent. I hope to find similar one day.

    The online YA community always seems to be able to pick me up and boost my inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad you were able to find a way away from the edge. And, as Lindsay said, you talk me down quite often! Thanks. I have total faith you can handle these changes. And remember, we're here if you need us!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've hit that point quite a few times. That's when I take a break from the ms and read a few books. After that, I'm ready to tackle whatever has been bugging me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your agent sounds wonderful. I have to stew a while and then call on my online angels to reflect it back to me, or I'll read or watch TV, but then I have to apply myself once more. Cleaning up sections here and there until I can eventually make the those changes set in cement. Some inspiration has to come in eventually to point me in the right direction.

    Author of The Greek Seaman
    http://jacquelinehowett.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have very supportive friends and family. It's great to have someone by your side along the way. Good Luck Trisha!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Self-talk, iron will, thick skin and my husband! YOU CAN AND YOU WILL DO IT, Trisha! Your sub-conscious is already at work--you'll see! Keep us posted.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh man! You'll have to let me know which book it was for. One I know?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm very curious to know what the suggestions were! Close friends who understand my writing journey are the ones to talk me from the edge - and my wonderful husband - although he doesnt quite 'get' the artist's inner turmoil!

    Hope that favorite scene you wrote about in your last post escaped unscathed!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've never hit that point so much that I've lost faith. Not yet anyway. Usually I just say "Oh my god. Oh my god." Get up. Pace around the room while breathing deeply. Push my hands with palms towards the floor to calm and ground myself. Sit back down, deep breathing, and get right into the editing process again. And, if that fails, I've always got my two best friends to help me out. Congrats on having such an amazing agent that she can be that for you!

    <3 Gina Blechman

    P.S. I'm sorry that I haven't been by your blog for a while. I've been super busy. But I'm baaaaack! :-)

    ReplyDelete