Long time, no see. A lot has happened in the time that has elapsed between this post and my last, and yet, it feels like nothing has happened at all.
During my last post, I was gearing up to participate in the agent showcase for Pitch Wars. Due to unforeseen events that I couldn’t really control, I wasn’t able to participate. To say that I was crushed would be an understatement. This goal that I’d been working towards for four months, ten months if I count TeenPit, was all off sudden unimportant. And with the goal of the showcase slipping through my fingers, I felt my motivation and love for my story start to flicker out. And that terrified me.
So I finished up my current draft, the sixth draft, the first weekend of February and sent it to betas. And then I took a much needed step back from my manuscript. I had been working on it for so long that I was too close to see what else needed work, so I had to let go for a bit. Now, almost full month later, beta reader feedback is starting to come in, and the love for my story that I felt flicker out earlier this month has returned.
This month has been really difficult, writing-wise, but I think I’ve learned a lot from it (and this is kinda where the motivational peptalk comes in). I wouldn’t have been able to get through this month without my friends, both those that are writers and those that aren’t. They listened and they encouraged, and they made sure that I knew that though my love of my manuscript had flickered out it would come back. Friends are invaluable, and I’m incredibly lucky to have the ones that are in my life. So if you’re feeling alone and overwhelmed like I was, reaching out to friends, to people you trust, could be incredibly helpful.
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions. I questioned why I was writing the story that I am. Why I had put so much time and energy into the project. Why I loved it. Asking myself those question gave me the answers that helped bring the flame of love back for my project. It was a bit scary to question a part of myself that I consider a central piece of who I am, but doing so helped immensely. Journaling about these questions, or any questions about why you do what you do, could also help.
Another thing that I learned this month is that though I didn’t participate in the agent showcase, I didn’t fail like I thought I had for a long time. After talking with a lot of people, I realized that I only fail if I give up on myself and my manuscript. So I just wanted to pass those words of wisdom on: you only fail if you give up.
And that’s my motivational peptalk. Come March, I’ll be back to revising and starting my seventh draft. I haven’t failed, I’m just simply still finding my way. Something that a family member told me after I had submitted all of my college apps, and was worrying about things I couldn’t control, that has stuck with me was, “Allah has a beautiful path for you.” You may not be Muslim or may not be religious, but I do think that each of you, no matter what your goal(s) is, has a beautiful future in store. Keep working towards that future, and I believe in you!
Happy reading, happy writing, and happy blogging!