Why Writers Needs To Be Like The Bear

When I was a little girl, I spent time singing songs with my father. One of my favorites was “The Bear Went Over The Mountain.” I loved the tune of the song but didn’t understand why we had to keep singing the same lyrics and why the bear never saw anything other than another mountain. The other day I found myself singing this song and for the first time, I realized exactly what I was singing about and how it could pertain to me the writer. A writer is constantly climbing mountains only to get to the top and see there is another mountain to climb.

Think about the process of writing. An idea is sparked (Woo-hoo! Something is brewing), you feel inspired. You are thrilled that you have found something to write about. You take that idea and begin creating a story. All the thoughts that percolate in your head are exciting and you think this will be easy. But then, you hit a snag. The idea that seemed so simple is not flowing as effortlessly as you imagined. You come to the realization you have just climbed your first mountain. The only view from the top is another mountain.

You scribble down an outline. Fill in the blanks (High five the imaginary editor in your mind) and bang your story out. Seeing your thoughts manifest is thrilling. You complete the story and let it sit for a few days.

After some time has passed, you pull back out your work in progress and see errors that must be fixed. You edit, reedit (Try to shut up the loud shouts of self doubt echoing through your head and attempt to give yourself your millionth pep talk). When all is said and done you pat your self on the back for reaching the top of that mountain.

It’s time to start querying. You replenish your dehydrated mind and begin submitting. You feel pumped. Surely, someone will see the brilliance in your work and offer you representation. Days turn into weeks which turn into months. The smile that was decorating your face has been replaced with a frown. Rejections pour in and self doubt revisits. You are about to give up when an unexpected e-mail arrives and you are invited to send your full manuscript to a very cool agent. Where are we at? The bottom of another mountain getting ready to climb back up hoping when we do we will finally see that magical land we have been searching for.

When the “super cool” agent ends up rejecting your manuscript, you feel like you just fell off a cliff. You pick yourself up and begin scaling again.

A writer is never done. Their journey is long, the hills are endless, and the destinations are not known. Once you reach one goal you immediately must set another one. We must be like the Bear. We must keep climbing.

Share with us a moment when you reached a goal in writing. What happened once that goal was met? Did you climb another mountain?

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2 Comments

Filed under audience, books, character, character building, constructing, creating, critique, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, meme, novel, query, random, rejections, stories, story telling, story writing, Style, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing

2 responses to “Why Writers Needs To Be Like The Bear

  1. I published my first NF book in 2004. My second is out in three weeks! It’s getting a lot of national attention, which is, of course, an ambitious writer’s goal — but one we really cannot control. My book is a memoir of losing my job as reporter at the NY Daily News and working retail for $11/hour…

    The timing of when your idea goes out, and sells and is published, is crucial for a writer’s ideas to find fertile ground — from agent/editor/reviewers/readers. So many people give up and get bitter and angry and discouraged. You cannot.

    The goal, for me, was to publish something timely when the larger culture might actually be receptive to it. Not easy to do!

    http://malledthebook.com/

  2. Yes. Once I got an agent, I felt like I had to climb another mountain to get a deal. After the deal, another mountain to revise and edit. And there are many more.

    Have a great weekend.

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