Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Writer's Squeeze




As of late, I’ve officially finished my fourth manuscript, which means, I’ve written FOUR novels! It’s taken me ten years to get here, and I’ve loved, hated, but mostly loved every moment of it. Being a writer—a story teller, will never leave me. It’s a part of who I am, and I love that part of me. But being one isn’t always easy. It comes with late nights of staring at a ceiling talking to myself as my husband tries to ignore how insane I'm being because I’m working through plot and talking to characters. The next morning, I try to pretend that I’m not really alone when I’m sitting at my computer. And when I finally get up to grab a cup of coffee, I notice my dirty house and decrepit garden that would fit perfectly on Tales from the Crypt. But the worst part, is knowing the characters in my book better than I know my family at times.

I tell myself I’m going to meet a deadline, edit, revise (repeat ten times), and then send my book out on submission. THEN, yes now, I will get to know my family again, maybe finally force someone to talk to me and be my friend.

Then in between scrubbing those neglected toilets, doing art with my sweet children, and pulling alien-like skeletons out of my garden that the rejections come in. I sighall my blood, sweat, and tears feel wasted.

I sob to my husband (that poor man), watch an awesome season of Downtown Abbey, sob, write (only on social media), and then stick my manuscript in a drawer and wonder where I went wrong. I take some time off. Swear I’ll never write again because the pain reminds me of THAT ONE bad relationship I had that broke my heart and left a scar.

But those ideas keep knocking, and knocking, and knocking, and soon I’m writing again. Why? Because I’m a writer—a story teller, it’s a disease really. But I constantly doubt myself, constantly doubt anything I have to offer, and I think how ridiculous I am. Until some awesome barista makes me a heavenly cup of coffee and tells me how cool they think it is that I WRITE. It puts a twinkle in my eye, for a moment. Then, I get onto social media and see that a friend got a book deal. Or I walk into a book store and say to myself, “Why can’t this be me? I’ve worked hard too?” And I stew, and jealousy spills out—all over the place. It's messy. It spills out into my writing (I’m not good enough); it spills out into my mood because I feel lame. I go home and put on my raggedy comfort sweater, walk around with slouchy shoulders, and eat an entire box of Aunt Something Cookies. 

And this, my friends, is the writer’s squeeze.

It’s the crappy place no writer likes to be and it’s a place no writer should go.

"When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out - because that's what's inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside." ~Wayne Dyer

As writers we are going to be squeezed, whether it be in the beginning stages, or IF we become a New York Times Bestseller. We need to hold on, keep going, and BE PROUD, heck, throw parties for our friends that have made it because we know how big of a mountain it was for them to climb to get there. And who cares if it took them one year to get to the top and you a lifetime. Its okay, we need to stop comparing ourselves. If we are going to share a work of art with the world—a piece of us, shouldn’t it be at a time when your passion is equal to the love of our friends? And if we never get there, we should be okay with that too because isn’t it true as to what Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem taught us?…

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost 
Than never to have loved at all.

I write for passion, for the love of life. If you place this poem in your heart as you write, then nothing is lost but gained, and when the time comes when you’re squeezed, you will only drip with love. And that my friends, is when the best literature of our time to come will be created.

6 comments:

  1. Great Job, keep up the good work, and never give up. Always enjoy your posts, they keep me thinking. An orange only squeezes orange juice if it ripens and soaks up sun over time (keeps growing and never gives up).

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  2. You are the greatest Bob! Thank you!

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  3. Honest. Inspiring. Heartfelt. Yes, you are a writer, Naomi, but you're a shining star, as well.

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    1. To hear that from you Susan, means the world to me. Thank you. XOXO

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  4. Love, love, love this! Every word of it. Naomi, you're a fantastic writer, so don't give up. (I mean that.)

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    1. Oh, Melissa, you are such a wonderful friend, thank you! You are a fantastic determined writer as well, love you!

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