That’s what being a professional writer is all about. Did you know that? It’s not about waking up each morning with birds singing, wonderful emails from fans the world over, and breakfast in bed prepared by the household staff and served on real china with real silver and a real teapot, etc.
No, being a professional writer is about dragging your sorry butt out of the bed even though your dreams seem more interesting than the book you’re working on. It’s about brushing your teeth, wrapping your hair in a scrunchie, and turning on the coffee or the kettle. It’s about getting that hot cup of motivation (mine happens to be decaf these days) and going to your writing place. Mine is an office upstairs in my house.
It’s about opening the document and staring at the words, thinking they are probably the worst words ever written and that your career is most certainly over, and then clicking over to email, Facebook, and Twitter to waste time rather than face the task.
And then you might get the lovely surprise of a nasty review, or the news that your book is the only one not in the top whatever of Amazon while all the rest of the books in your line that month are. You might want to go back to bed and cry, or turn off the computer and swear you’re giving up because this is too hard.
But you can’t. Because you’re a professional and you signed on the dotted line and someone is expecting delivery of this monstrous piece of junk in a few weeks (if you’re lucky) or a few days (if you aren’t). You. Must. Deliver.
And because you are a professional, you will. You will tackle that manuscript like it’s you or it (which it is) and you will somehow, eventually, win the battle. You may even like it when you’re done. You may be pleasantly surprised, and you may cry and laugh and tell the cat what a genius you are. (The cat doesn’t care, but say it anyway.)
And then, if your editor thinks it’s not as good as you think it is, you may get it back with a letter that tells you what you need to do. The process of crying and foot dragging will start all over again, but you’ll wrestle the beast once more and you will, eventually, win.
If you really are a professional, you will do this even if you didn’t sign on the dotted line. Because you want to sign on that line and you better get used to the pain now. You have to write even when you don’t really feel like it. Some days, you won’t feel like it. Other days, you can imagine nothing more fun in this world that sitting at the computer in your jammies and making stuff up.
But the truth, dear friends, that I’ve learned after nearly 3 years in the published trenches is this: it doesn’t get easier. It usually gets harder. Better prepare for it now.
And with that piece of hard fought wisdom, I’m back to the trenches to battle these revisions. I will definitely win–but I’ll probably get a bit bloodied in the process.