Okay, the break is over.
I’ve been away from writing for over a week now, aside from my blog, and I am mustering up some serious determination to get back into the groove. That means finding an inspiration-friendly Starbucks with available power outlets and a venti white chocolate mocha. With whipped cream.
I can’t believe I’ve left my characters in the hands of the evil queen for so long. I can practically hear their panic.
But there have been some positives during this non-writing time period. I had many conversations with lots of different people and that always triggers the old idea machine. I am amazed at how the simplest comment from the most unknowing of souls can become the very words that change the course of a story. So cool.
Suddenly, the desperate voices of my characters have stilled. They’re waiting.
Even the evil queen knows that something’s up.
I don’t like to be too predictable where those storybook folks are concerned. They tend to become a bit over-confident when things chug along in a logical manner, which makes them difficult to handle when I want to change it up. They argue when I increase the tension. They complain when they have to walk another three miles to reach the hideout. They give me dirty looks when I make them be friends with somebody they don’t like. You know how it is.
So, guys, the determination button has been pushed and the gears are starting to turn.
At a writers’ conference last fall, I had the opportunity to meet with a well known literary agent. I had just fifteen minutes to pitch my novel to him – a huge step of faith for me – and he liked it. Gave me his business card and asked me to submit it to his agency when it’s finished. When the meeting was over, he pointed his finger in my face and stared me down as he said, “Never. Give. Up”.
Riding on the euphoria of actually having written something a real live agent liked, I let his words slip away without giving them much thought. But in the months since that meeting, I’ve been seeing those words everywhere. Posters, book covers, TV commercials, Facebook posts. Never Give Up. You think maybe somebody is trying to tell me something?
Here’s the deal, folks: TO GIVE UP IS NOT AN OPTION.
You have to remind yourself every single day, maybe every single hour, that you can do this. It doesn’t matter what it is – painting, selling, writing, going to school, looking for a job, raising kids, inventing – Never. Give. Up.
So you failed. More than once. You can give up or go on. Pick one.
I pick go on, so . . .
I have to stay focused instead of allowing distractions to eat up my time. I have to resist the temptation to revise the first 60 pages of my novel for the 327th time instead of moving forward in the story. I have to set reasonable goals and stick to achieving them. Otherwise I’ll be at the writers’ conference next fall, meeting with the same literary agent, pitching my still-unfinished novel.
I believe I can do this! And I believe you can too.