Once upon a time, a girl was struck by this AWESOME-fied idea for a story. After getting over the initial new story excitement and subsequent bouts of self-doubt over the idea that happens with EVERY single idea she has, she sat down to write a story.
And she wrote and wrote and wrote and was having a blast! Soon(ish), the first draft was finished to MUCH celebrations, and she immediately stuffed the story into a virtual drawer to sit while she
twiddled her thumbs worked on her query letter and synopsis and compiled a long(ish) list of revision notes.
After a couple of weeks, she went back to her draft and started the much celebrated task of editing, revising, and pulling stuff apart. Lots of fun was had between rounds of delirious fun and frustration, and when the draft was all shiny and sparkling, she gathered a bit of feedback here and there and prepared to send the story out.
But then the fear set in. No, she can’t! Her throat closed up. A cold sweat broke out on the back of her neck. It’s terrible. She can’t do this! She can’t let people see it! So, she busted out the claws and hovered over it, looking for eyeballs to scratch out!…but something happened as her eyes scanned the pages again. The beauty of the story immediately pulled her in. Love set in once more, and she was in paradise. So out the story went, like a baby bird…
And then that first rejection rolled in like a heavy, dark cloud on a beautiful sunshiny day. And she HATED her story.
It only took one. And then the obsessing started. Everyone must hate it! Why did she start the story that way? She knew that one sentence in chapter three ruined EVERYthing! Why, oh, WHY did she send that story out? She got such great feedback on her opening pages. Why did no one want to read her story?!
And then it happened! A request rolled in. A FULL REQUEST! But wait…did she suddenly love her story again? Oh no…
Because she didn’t have anyone read over the entire story before she sent it out! :O Tis true. She did not.
So now she’s worried about things in the middle of the story. Did she explain that right? Does this make sense? Maybe it wasn’t okay for that one character to be bi. Maybe she shouldn’t have written a book with a blonde main character, and now she looks like she doesn’t like other hair colors, and she SO DOES!!
And why is everyone taking so long anyway? They’ve gotten positive responses back to people quicker than this according to QueryTracker? OMG, they DO hate it! She’ll never sleep again. Why did she query this without having someone read the whole thing first?!
Then one day she wakes up, and it’s like, “Girl Fries, pull your ass together.” Like really. She did the best she could. She LOVES this story. It’s awesome! If they don’t like it, they don’t like it. She has other ideas. She can query again. She’s strong. There’s hope.
The sun is behind those clouds, and she’s okay. And it’s okay for her to like, no LOVE her story, no matter what happens.
I know I can’t be the only one who falls into a crazy love-hate relationship with my stories sometimes. I eventually get the neuroticism in check and move on, but it happens with everything, even the stories I’m SO sure it won’t happen to!
But I’ll get over it. I have to. Because I’m a writer. And writers write. I’ll always have stories to tell. I’ve been telling stories my entire life. And I’ll tell stories until I die
So, after a few weeks of riding the post story roller coaster, I get off and work on something else to calm my mind. Because it is the ONLY way to calm my mind when I’m obsessing over a story I sent out. I need proof that I have other stories in me. Of course, I do, but it helps so much to see it for myself.
And the thing is, I love my stories. ALL of them. The rejected ones. The bad ones. The embarrassing ones. The great ones. The lukewarm ones. The unfinished ones. They’re pieces of my soul. I can’t hate them. I don’t want them all to be published, because some of them should never see the light of day, but I love them. And it truly makes me sad to know that at one point, I hated them for no reason. It’s like hating myself. And let’s not do that.
(hugs pile of poorly written crap)