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.


About janetsyasnitsick

Visit blog for writing, marketing tidbits to dazzle your creative endeavors. New book: Courtships and Carriages, a sweet Christian romance, (two proposals but who wins Gwen's heart?). Other works: Ruth Ann Nordin's and Janet Syas Nitsick's anthology, Bride by Arrangement; Janet's five-star, inspiring-historical romance, Lockets and Lanterns; 10th place story, "The Silver Lining;" and Best of Year book, Seasons of the Soul. Background: former journalist and language-arts teacher.
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2 Responses to The Highs and Lows of Writing

  1. Hi Janet, thank you for your honesty. I guess we all have those high expectations when our book is published no matter how hard we try not to. I’m just getting started with the marketing portion of the job and I have to admit it is a task I did not thing would be so enormous. How did you find your critique groups? I have no idea where to start.

  2. There was an article in the paper, and I attended this writing forum. From there, I met someone who told me about the Wednesday night critique group then I started attending. Later, a friend from my hometown called me, and we started getting together and a friendship grew. I would suggest searching for writing groups in your area and from there they can hook you up with different critique groups. God bless.

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