Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Everyone Needs Encouraging

Writing is not a middle-of-the-road kind of thing. Not many writers have so-so days. The writing day was either a wonderful/euphoric/I-rocked-word-count kind of day. Or it was exhausting/depressing/soul-grinding kind of day.

I’m not saying other jobs aren’t that way. (In fact, being a mom to a pack of small children is kind of like that—my oldest was five when my fourth child was born, so I guess I was well prepared for exhaustion.) In any case, I think one of the hardest things about writing is the emotional toll. In a new book I’m working on, I do something I’ve never done before—writing from the antagonist’s point of view as well as the protagonist’s. And, I’m writing the antagonist’s POV in first person. In a very real sense, I become this horrible woman. Her wretchedness clings to me. I even feel her guilt (okay, I feel the guilt she should be feeling, but isn’t) knowing how many lives her selfishness will destroy. When I finish her scenes, I need a bath to wash off the filth.

It’s enough to make you really discouraged. But, because I have amazing writing buddies, when I whine about the novel, they say things like “Wow. If you feel that bad, you must really be rocking the story. I can’t wait to read it.” And just like that my I-just-descended-into-the-depths-of-depravity depression becomes a good thing. And my day turns from soul-grinding to euphoric. Everyone needs encouragers.


  1. Seconded! My encouragers keep me going, and feed me cheese. What would I do without them?

    1. Can't forget the cheese part--my husband feeds me double cream blue when I'm in a funk. Bliss.