The life of a writer can be many things: exciting, wonderful, thoughtful, frustrating, calming, drawn-out, fulfilling, stressful...fill in the blank (depending on where you're at today).
One thing that I have heard repeatedly from other writers is that the highs are really high and the lows are really low.
The other day, I was writing (go figure...) and the words were just stuck in my fingers. It was so bad, it was like I forgot how to type. The delete key became my new best friend. Awful!
When I felt I had suffered enough, I went to bed, tossing the entire night because I was feeling so horribly about my writing. The man with the red pointy horns was in my head big time. He kept feeding me lines like: "Who do you think you are?" "Do you actually think that book is ever going to be any good?" "No one even likes you."
I hate when I give Satan power in my thought life. He was certainly running a muck! And I felt very low.
Then came the dawn (which always makes me think of an Avalon song). I crawled out of bed and went about my new routine. I spent time with God, I exercised and I wrote.
And wouldn't you know it...that writing hour was the best ever! I flew through my story, action and tension dripping onto every page. Awesome!
When all was said and done, I stood back and wondered how it was possible to hate one chapter, feeling as if you've never written anything more horrendous only to be followed by the next chapter which yields some of your best work? Highs and lows for sure!
Here's what I concluded about a writers Highs and Lows:
The highs are important because they keep us excited and motivated to push on towards the prize, towards improvement, towards finishing, towards publication, etc. They give us hope and keep the spark lit in us.
They also show us what our best can look like.
The lows are also necessary because they teach us about our character, our desires, our motivation, about our ability to persevere. Are we writers just when it's easy and fun? Or do we write for a deeper reason? Is there more to it than mere enjoyment?
The lows also clue us in to our reader intuition. If you write a scene that you don't like, sometimes we stand back and think, "I can fix that. A rewrite is all it needs." But other times, something in us just knows that it's no good. For whatever reason it doesn't work and it's in the best interest of our readers to toss it and begin again.
What do you think? Do you regularly experience highs and lows along your journey? Have they taught you anything about writing? About yourself? Which are you experiencing today?