Doubt, Publish, Writing

Trudging Down That Dark Path of Despair

I said in my last post I needed to find some answers before I could move forward. At the time I wrote that post, I was in dialogue with a writer friend who is well-acquainted with the angst I expressed. A few hours after I published my post, she sent me a link to a brilliant one by Robin LaFevers on Writer Unboxed. Though I subscribe to that blog, I missed reading that post. Maybe it just wasn’t time yet.

darkpathThe title of that fantastic article is “The Seven Stages of Publishing Grief (or Hello Darkness, My Old Friend).” I felt as if it were written directly to me. Obviously it wasn’t  so there’s comfort in knowing that what I’ve been going through is common to all writers at some point in their career. As LaFevers writes:

So this seemed like a good time to talk about writers and disappointment. For while writing is one of the most rewarding pursuits in the world, publishing can be a long, slow, painful slog toward the pit of despair, and you can quickly find yourself in the soul sucking land of Major Disappointment. And guess what? This disappointment applies equally to pre-published, traditionally published, and indie published authors alike, so I guess that’s the upside: egalitarianism!

Yes, I’ve been “slogging toward the pit of despair” for a while now. But I’m overjoyed to know that’s normal—and survivable. I’ve read through those seven stages several times. I’ve been working through the Reflection stage, and now I’m about to move into Reconstruction. And I’m looking forward to Resurrection.  LaFevers says:

It’s essential that you don’t get stuck in one of the first four stages for the rest of your life. It is vitally important to your creative soul that you keep moving through them all the way to the Resurrection Stage, for without that, you’re simply stuck in a really ugly place for a very long time.

If you’re a publishing writer, or hope to be, do yourself a favor and go read that post. If you don’t need it now, save it because some day you’re going to find yourself trudging down that dark path.

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Dream, Fiction, Musings, My Books, Novel, Writing

In the Depths of Despair

The long, dark days of winter are hard on my mood, and the weather has been mostly gloom here. To add to that, I’ve been spending my time with a broken-hearted man, who doesn’t know yet that he will escape his present darkness.

This man is my protagonist Jalal. While I’m writing his scenes, I naturally reflect on the darkest times in my life when neither scripture nor platitude could reach me, when I despaired, and that which was, and is, and evermore shall be, could reach me only through my dreams. I had two years of the most detailed, archetypal dreams of my life. Recognizing their importance, I kept a diary, waking in the morning able to write in detail two or three lengthy dreams. To this day, I can look through that journal and the dreams replay in my mind. I learned a lot about myself during that time. Light dispels darkness.

Maybe I will give Jalal some dreams of his own to get him through.