Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Highs and Lows of Writing

A writer knows there are highs and lows during the writing process. You question your abilities, your instincts and even your love for writing.
My low point came several years ago when my manuscript needed help. It was through wonderful friends I learned I needed to add more content. I was devastated but their input made my product better. I doubled its size. I had to learn to take my initial disappointment and my questioning of my abilities and turn it into a product I now am proud to tout. The process switched my low into a high. 
However, taking criticisms is not easy. Find a partner in which you can work with and trust. I have a great writer friend who I value her input enormously. It takes time, however, to find the right working relationships. 
A few years ago I lost a friend due to this. She wanted to critique at times which fit her schedule but would not bend on starting earlier so could have adequate time to go through our works in progress. She also was writing non-fiction, whereas I was venturing into the romance-fiction genre. We did not fit. What resulted was a broken friendship. To be honest, however, there were other things in play which contributed to this. So do not hesitate to walk away if you need to do that, but do it early and find a nice way to sever the critique relationship without hindering your friendship.
Go with your instincts. If your gut tells you to write a certain type of story then go for it. My heart directed me to write an inspiring-historical romance. I did that with Lockets and Lanterns. Its April release was my high point. Remember, though, your novel will not set the whole world on fire but could appeal to those interested in that kind of story.  
This reminds me of a time I accepted a job. My “gut” told me to not take it and my “gut” was correct. This is the advantage of self-publishing you can do it your way. Publishers ask you to write it their way which may not be the path you want to take.
Finally, your high is your love of writing and your low is the process in getting there. One day you receive glowing reviews of your work. The next day you get a fair report. The latter can send you into depression because we always remember the bad ones and forget the good reports. Or, your book cannot get traction no matter what you do so your high hopes are dashed. The truth is nothing is easy and you need to keep working at it. Few people inherit their wealth. They did it through many years of hard work. You can be that person with perseverance and determination.
When my first book, Seasons of the Soul, was released in 2006. I expected it to sell like hot cakes. It did not. Instead, I got good reviews and it even won a contest, but what the gift book did not do was make money. That part was a low point. This changed, though, with my new release of Lockets and Lanterns and this even brought up sales of my previous book. It takes time to get to your highs. Well, I guess I said enough. Thus, I leave you with this as always - God bless. 


  1. Janet,
    great post on those ups and downs. It is so true with writing and publishing--and everything else too :)--you must listen to that voice inside of you and follow your right path. And you not only have to find that path--but follow it. Sometimes that's the hard part, isn't it?

  2. Thanks for the insight Janet. Your info not only applies to writing, but also to life in general. Everything we do seems to have its highs and lows. Such is the spice of life. Blessings

  3. Your post was very encouraging to me. I'm finalizing my second book right now, and I'm in a slump. Just knowing that you have gone through the same thing -- and come out of it with a positive result - makes me feel much better.Thank you for today's post.