Like anyone else, I've invested so much of myself in my last two novels, living in the character's head for years, that I really want those stories to find a home and succeed, which means I've been focusing on the query process like a fiend. But, you know, outside of learning how to write a decent query letter and revising the opening pages again, a lot of the process is out of my hands in the end.
So, to counter all that soul-sucking madness and get my mind off rejection, I decided to (unofficially) hop on the NaNo wagon. I wanted to write some new and different stuff to distract myself from myself. And, to be honest, it wasn't going very well. Three days in and I'd written the equivalent of the ingredients on the side of a cereal box, and the querying was still making me insane. Which, of course, led to days of despondency. Which, in turn, led to a purposely self-destructive Netflix-watching marathon meant to obliterate any notions of me ever writing again once and for all!!!
One of the documentaries I put on was pure magic. As I watched, completely enthralled by the subject matter and the passion of the people in it, the story elements of this new project I'd been toying with began to collide in detailed clarity with the documentary. That missing je ne sais quoi the story was missing zinged my antennae with full force, and before the show was even over I was furiously writing pages and pages of notes full of conflict and saucy characters. And, bam! Just like that, I'm in love with words again and a new story.
I am sufficiently distracted.
Finding an idea that you know has the legs to go the distance for a novel is the best feeling ever. It's the drug that keeps writers hooked on words. But it can also be a precarious moment. We have to be very careful not to let that enthusiasm rob us of our magic while the idea is still young and undeveloped. There's something very special about protecting a good idea and nurturing it until it grows the wings to fly on its own. For a writer it's a time of precious, magical thinking, and it's worth any number of rejections that may come later.
Do you feel protective of your new ideas? Do you ever feel like you'll lose the story if you talk about it out loud? Or maybe you get inspiration from talking out your ideas with others?
For further reading, here's a great BBC News article Suze brought to my attention: Top 10 Tips For Being a Best Selling Author. #4 is particularly relevant to this post. :)
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Caroline.