If you’re like me, the idea of roller coasters is vomit-inducing, both from the loop de loops and the insurmountable fear of all things that go fast, upside down and high in the sky. If you’re not like me, then all of what I just said doesn’t apply, but you can still stick around for the rest of this. Writing is much like a roller coaster and I know I’m not the first to think of it in this way. I’m just currently experiencing it hardcore, so I wanted to devote a post to it.
When you get that first idea that tingles in the back of your brain, you think, “Gee, this may actually make a good book!” It makes you all goofy inside. You look for the nearest device to record this brilliant thought and you can feel that rush of adrenaline. That’s the writer’s equivalent to standing in line for your favorite coaster. You’re all anxious and excited about what’s going to happen, the feeling of the unknown, even if you’ve ridden this ride before. You can feel your heart fluttering and you’re all smiles and giggles.
Now, you’ve made it onto that roller coaster – you’re heavy into your first draft. There’s still a great amount of anticipation as you climb that steep first hill. There’s also some frustration mingled in there because you’re ready to get to the top of that great hill. You want to see all the sights at the tippy top and you’re ready to take that first plunge. That’s why you’re on this roller coaster, isn’t it – for the thrills and chills? There’s a slow ascent to the top and you’re trying to be patient, sitting back in your seat, dangling your legs (praying to God that your safety harness doesn’t magically unlock itself plunging you to your death – wait this last one just pertains to me, not writing). All the while on this roller coaster of writing you’re pushing upward and onward and you’re making progress toward that first goal – the finished manuscript.
Ta-da! You’ve made it! You’ve got that manuscript finished and polished and now you get to start submitting your query letter to agents. You’re taking that first plunge. You hold your breath as you hit the send button on your emails and you attempt to throw your hands in the air and let it all go as you now feel powerless and small. You have no control over what happens now – you’re the writing roller coaster’s biatch. Hang in there baby, because this is when the ride gets good and crazy.
Suddenly you’re on the ride of your life! You’re getting form rejections, partial requests for your manuscript and maybe *gasp* full requests. You’re up and down and up and down as you eagerly send out portions of your project and then wait to hear back if they “fell in love with the writing” or “just don’t connect to the work at this time”. Everything’s happening so fast you don’t know which way to turn. You can’t, you’re glued to your seat and you’re committed to this nutty ride. If you try to get off a roller coaster mid-ride, it’s not going to be pretty. So, settle in – you’re in the homestretch now.
It’s almost there! The finish line, the end of the ride, the getting of the agent and eventually, and very hopefully, the publishing of your book. You’ve been through all the fast turns and near-misses and all at once you’ve been terrified and elated, scared and exuberant, nervous and…well you get the point. You feel the coaster make its last turn and you swing into the docking bay lurching to a stop. You did it, you conquered the giant! You took the wild ride and survived. Your legs are a little shaky, maybe you’re a little nauseous. But after all of that, your first thought is – when can I go again?