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Dear Writers,

I’m in deep.

Can’t sleep, can’t eat… as much, can’t focus on anything else. I’m going to bed well after midnight and waking up by 4:30am raring to go, excited to get back to my hard uncomfortable computer seat and write and edit, hone and cut and fix.

My butt is numb half the time but I barely notice. I’m writing and I’m in love… with my characters, with the process, with creating something outside of myself.

I’m so tired, but like my character who has started a passionate affair that is as good for her as it is bad, neither of us can stop. We are addicted.

It has always been this way for me; whether writing bad teenage poetry, heartfelt essays, journals on my children’s journey to life or longer works of fiction, when I’m in, I’m in. I love that moment when you realize something great is happening, your story is evolving and you’re into the action. You may be writing it, but you can’t wait to find out what happens next.

It’s a genuine gift to enjoy the process of writing; the agony, the thrill, the total obsessive consumption that has you by the balls and keeps squeezing no matter how many gives you say.

Yet it’s totally reclusive and really the height of narcissism. Apparently, I prefer to just hang out with the thoughts in my head, the stories and people of my own creation than do anything else. What is more alienating and totally self-absorbed than that?

But there’s always a rub. You’d like to hope that if you spend so much time writing, you would actually do it well. But there’s no guarantee of that at all. To enjoy the process is gift enough but to actually expect to be talented? To have enough writing chops to rise above? Well, that’s just arrogance, stupidity, and a necessary aspiration.

Because tangled in all the insecurity and dedication, the loving and the hating is the hope that one day you just might hit on something good enough to rate. Something that will give others a moment of enjoyment or a secret thrill; will keep them on their toes, at the edge of their seats, reaching for tissues or whatever emotion you’re trying to convey.

Because a writer wants readers, needs them, and we also want our work to be recognized. You can’t sit for that many hours, days, weeks, months by yourself and then not crave worldwide domination, I mean some peer recognition. Not just your mother or your friends nodding and clapping – although where would we be without those claps and nods? – but the writing community; which if you’re relatively unpublished translates to an editor or an agent, and of course worldwide domination.

But no matter about that. It’s the carrot on the stick before us, a hope, a pipe dream, but onward we charge because we need to write. There is no other choice.

We are in deep.

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About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

41 responses »

  1. Great post and so, so true! I loved this line- “Because tangled in all the insecurity and dedication, the loving and the hating is the hope that one day you just might hit on something good enough to rate. “

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  2. I can totally relate! In fact I’m searching for an agent and publisher now for my world domination, I mean peer recognition! 😉

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  3. For what it’s worth, I happen to think you’re very talented.

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  4. I agree with Twindaddy’s comment. AND, I agree and relate 100% to everything you wrote. I was just thinking this morning, “Have I always been this self-obsessed, or is it the blog’s fault?”

    Either way, I’m all in too.

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    • thank you!! it’s a beautiful thing to get so wrapped up in something your passionate about… except for those kids who keep bothering me with their silly requests for food and all. 😉

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  5. Sounds about right. Keep it up!

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  6. Yes It’s nearly midnight, I have been awake since 5.30am taking my son to swimming and a full day of working, I could stay up all night with my computer, but the thought of being up early again for the rest of the week is the only thing that lures me to bed and to sleep. Your joy and passion is shared and understood. Enjoy your few hours of sleep tonight.

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  7. Love this: “that’s just arrogance, stupidity, and a necessary aspiration.” What a great line!

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  8. ohhh yes, yes we are in deep. Love this. And you are super good at it!

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  9. Ooh, go you! I’ll read your book 🙂

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  10. I admire your dedication. I’m just not dedicated to writing enough to forgo sleep.

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  11. Exactly this. There’s nothing like that feeling of being in the groove; enjoying the process, watching it evolved before you. That’s one of the things I love the most about writing. Those moments when you sit down with maybe a sliver of an idea and one thought leads to another and suddenly a surprise idea finds its way into your head and it takes you in an unexpected and terrific direction. Sure it’s narcissistic to a point, but it’s creative narcissism! So that’s all good. haha Loved this piece. You nailed it.

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  12. I envy your ability to stay awake and write! I’m so tired before I even sit down and try. Even when I’m in deep like you, I can’t keep up that pace for more than one or two nights. I can’t wait to read your finished product!

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    • thanks. i hope you do too! i been at a similar place like this with my fiction before but i’m not as ready to give it up as i was then. i’m more stubborn in my old age apparently. 🙂

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  13. Onward we charge!! I’m about halfway through the first edits of my first novel. It’s daunting. I’ve never done this before. I need to kill my darlings and practically rewrite the whole thing!!

    But I love it. I didn’t think I’d like editing as much as writing but I do. I practically forgot what I wrote during NaNoWriMo so it’s like reading it again for the first time.

    Good luck with your writing/editing!

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  14. Yes, I’m right there with you! I’m not working on a novel but discovering yeahwrite has brought out the obsessive writer I had long forgotten. Now I’m even neglecting my garden. Thanks for sharing this. Well done. Hug your characters.

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  15. Yes and Yes, To all of it. And I absolutely loved your characters. I’d go to sleep well after midnight and wake up at 4am for them too.

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  16. me too, i can totally relate. sometimes i try to sleep but if the urge to write is so strong, it drives me out of bed. so you’re not alone. stand firm and keep on writing. =)

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  17. Oh boy! Spot on. The agony and ecstasy or writing a single word.

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  18. Natalie DeYoung

    Oh boy, do I know what you mean. And world domination is at the top of my list…

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  19. Haha! You totally described the crazy love and addiction a writer has for her (or his) craft!

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  20. If you don’t feel strongly about your writing you are doing something wrong. It can be love or it can be hate, but ambivalence doesn’t work.

    Reply

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