Please help me welcome back out monthly guest, Karen Frisch, author of Lady Delphinia’s Deception.
Moment of Rejuvenation
by Karen Frisch
Writers are among the most emotionally vulnerable people on earth. While our writing makes us both happy as well as sad at times, nothing has the power to plunge us so deeply into despair as criticism. It might be a negative review on Amazon, unwelcome words from a critique partner, a lower sales figure than we expect to see on a royalty statement, or three stars out of five on a readers’ website. Whatever the slight, no matter how minor, it cuts as much as if we’d been physically hurt.
Perhaps it’s because our own spirits soar when we write, and we can’t understand how others don’t see the brilliance of our words. They don’t feel the excitement we do or realize just how long it took us to get to the point where we couldlet go of a given scene, deeming it ready for release into the cold, cruel world.
For a time, we might get discouraged and avoid the page. Yet despite the doubts that the slight awakened, most of uskeep writing anyway. It isn’t always a matter of choice. Writing is such an integral part of our lives that we will continue to write until someone demands that we turn over what we’ve been working on. If it weren’t for deadlines from an editor or critique partner, we might never let any of our work leave our hands.
Over time, something happens without our awareness. Our liveschange. Our perception and understanding grow keener, though we don’t necessarilyrealize it at the time.
Over time, we learn. We live. We have new experiences and undergo unexpected events that challenge what we’ve always believed. Things occur that we never expected to happen, and they’re not always for the better. That’s okay. It makes them great fodder for a novel. We know we can use that pain one day. We start to write from a perspective we never had before, about changes we never saw coming. Our writing improves. It gets stronger because we have a wider range of experiences from which to draw.
Life is filled with unexpected moments, both good and bad. They give us courage to proceed. We get our second wind and survive another day. We find the courage to go back and re-read our early works and decide maybe that criticism (at least some of it) was warranted.
You never know when it will happen, but before you know it, often when you’re not expecting it, an editor who sees the value in your writing offers you a contract. Now the tears of change begin. First it’s time for tears of disbelief, then joy. Those tears of frustration that sprang from criticism are lost in the process, swept away with the tide that moves you toward writing success.
The writing journey is a cycle. Like the tides, it’s full of high moments, then it recedes for a bit. We often work in darkness, not knowing when the tide will return to lift us, to keep us afloat. Until those moments of rejuvenation come, we have to endure, knowing the high points won’t be the last we’ve seen.
As writers, we just have to wait.
Karen Frisch is the author of What’s in a Name, a December release from Avalon Books, in which a professor’s daughter and a fish market owner must overcome their differences to give two young runaway relatives a home–but first they must find the children. Her novella “A Delicate Footing” is now available in ImaJinn Books’ Christmas anthology A Regency Yuletide. She is also the author of Lady Delphinia’s Deception, a Regency from ImaJinn, and Murder Most Civil, a Victorian mystery from Mainly Murder Press that features an appearance by Henry David Thoreau.