Okay, so I’m a sad case, but this is something I ask myself quite regularly. Especially this weekend as I wandered around feeling sick as a dog with submission doubt. Is my heroine acting out of character or over the top again? Is my hero way too nice? Did I keep my conflict simple enough? Is there enough of it the first chapter? Are their motivations clear?
It’s kind of exhausting feeling like that. As is the rollercoaster of hope and despair that the writer’s journey seems to consist of. And sometimes I think that perhaps I care TOO much about it.
I’ve never had a blinding ambition to be anything. I was librarian for 15 years because a) I liked books and b) I could never get into publishing. And being a librarian suited me very well because it wasn’t too stressful and at the end of the day it meant I could come home and write.
Actually, when I say I never had a blinding ambition to be anything, that’s a small lie. I have always wanted to be a writer. But it wasn’t ever something I thought I would be. It was just one of those nice dreams.
But in the last few years, I’ve realised that perhaps I could be one after all. That perhaps it doesn’t just have to be a nice dream. And whaddya know? It turns out I have ambition after all. And boy does my ambition want this. It wants it SO bad! It cares so deeply about it, that some days I have difficulty switching it off.
The downside of this means that I am a writing bore. I write every day and get grumpy when I don’t. I think about writing obsessively. When it’s not going well, nothing goes well and it’s all bad. I have a love/hate relationship with my inbox and I feel like throwing up every time I get an email from the ed. When I get an R it’s DEVASTATING. When I get a ‘you’ll have to rewrite it from the top’, I’m ECSTATIC. It’s exhausting.
On the upside wanting it badly, caring too much means that I channel all that drama back into my writing. Which does make for lovely, emotional scenes. It also means that giving up is much harder. And….I’m sure there was another upside but maybe not!
So I don’t know, admitting how badly you want something isn’t fashionable these days. You’ve got be ‘well, whatever, I’ll give it a go and if it doesn’t work out, so what’ kind of thing. Some days I wish I did have that attitude. It would be so much easier. But the thing is, that kind of attitude would mean that I probably wouldn’t still be here on sub number 6. I’d have stopped after sub number 1.
Anyway, I’ve tried not to care, believe me. To make this whole process easier on myself and my family. I’ve tried to think, ‘oh well, if it happens it happens and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t’. But you know what? That doesn’t work. No amount of trying will make me care any less about it. So I think I’ll just have to accept that I want this badly. That I care about it very much. That I’ll never be a ‘meh, whatever’ kind of person. And that I’ll just have to live with the hope and despair that comes along with caring far too much for my own good.
Lucky Dr Jax. Ah well, he always knew he was getting a drama queen for a wife. 🙂
So what about all the rest of you? How badly do you want it?