Tuesday, June 17, 2014

48 The Magic of Writing and a Giveaway of ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell

I sent off my manuscript for Book Two to my agent yesterday, and now I am waiting . . . again. As writers, we always seem to be waiting. Waiting for:

  • the perfect story idea, 
  • the time and energy to write, 
  • input from critique partners and beta readers,
  • responses to query letters, partials, and full request,
  • agent offers and editorial feedback,
  • editor submission responses,
  • offers of publication,
  • editorial letters, line edits, copyedits, first pass pages, second pass pages
  • cover designs, advance reader copies, finished books
  • reviews, sales, royalty statements
Rejection and dejection can come at any of those stages, and they do come. This process is brutal. It makes us question who we are and what we do.

But it's worth it.

I don't know at this point whether the scenes I'm worried about are going to make it past my agent or editor. They are risky scenes. They are scary scenes. They made me cry and they exhausted me as I was writing them--and the whole book is different than I expected it would be.

But it's worth it.

I'm an emotional noodle today. I didn't even get this post written last night, or earlier this morning, because I have no energy left. I am filled with doubt and fear and cringing anticipation.

But it's worth it.

Why? Because this thing we do, writing, is magic. As much as I don't love the waiting and the doubt, I love the writing. I love the way seeds I didn't even know I had planted grow to become meaningful in later chapters, and I love how seemingly unrelated themes or facts become part of something big and whole and beautiful.

Someone asked me yesterday whether I had any advice for aspiring authors. My advice is to fall in love with the writing. Love the process, not the words. Words don't matter that much. Love the characters and their stories so that no amount of revision or editing tests your patience. 

Becoming an author means learning to tell the stories that only we can tell, in the way that will best communicate what we mean to readers. As authors, we lay ourselves open, and we hope that what readers find on the pages is what was in our hearts and minds as we were writing. That's a scary, scary thing, because every reader reads our stories through the filters of their own experiences. They brings their own stories, their own ideas, their own expectations to our pages.

And that is not just worth it, for me, that's the single greatest joy of being an author. It's great to hear that readers get what we are trying to say, but it's even better to hear how that affects them. 

As writers, what is your greatest joy? And as a reader, what's your favorite thing to discover in a book?

YA GIVEAWAY OF THE WEEK




Attachments
by Rainbow Rowell
Paperback
Penguin, Plume


"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

From the award-winning author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel about love in the workplace.

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?


Purchase Attachments at Amazon
Purchase Attachments at IndieBound
View Attachments on Goodreads



a Rafflecopter giveaway

48 comments:

  1. Talon by Julie Kagawa is on my wishlist :D For those who do write, it's always important to remember to keep at it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your advice about loving the process. That's what keeps me writing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear that, Ghenet! There are a lot of writers who love having written, but don't necessarily love getting there. That's wonderful.

      Delete
  3. What keeps me reading is great writers penning stories that I can't put down. I'm currently reading my 174 book for 2014. Keep the great stories coming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOW! That's a a huge accomplishment. I had hoped to read 200 this year, but this draft kicked my butt, and I'm way, way behind. Hope you can keep up that pace!

      Delete
  4. As a writer the greatest joy is finishing! Really feeling like something is done is such an accomplishment even if you know more revision is needed.

    What keeps me writing is knowing there aren't a lot of diverse books out there and the stories I create are ones I would've loved to read as a child/teen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great reason, Jenn. We do need diverse books--and I love how your answer echoes the Maya Angelous quote about writing something you want to read.

      Delete
  5. What keeps me writing is all the ideas and the fear of not getting them down. What keeps me reading is the characters :)

    Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a character person too, Christina! And that reminds me of another of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes -- "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

      Delete
  6. I do love the process and am soooo glad I'm not alone in the writing world. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm with you! The internet and the various writing organizations are great for connecting us with people who are going through the same things we are going through!

      Delete
  7. "Writing is magic." That's what keeps me writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. : ) Right? Because who doesn't need magic in their lives!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Perfect answer! I never thought of it like that, but it's true. Not just books about magic, but books where everything comes together in unexpected and inevitable ways. Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning, Natalia!

      Delete
  9. "Love the process." thanks for the reminder. What hooks me as a reader? WHen I am touched at a deep emotional level. What drives me as a writer? Trying to do the same. Happy to hear your voice and encouragement, Martina.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carol! So good to "see" you! I've been in my writing cave and I feel so out of it, but I also admit it feels great to write a blog post.

      Delete
  10. All of the amazing books that are being written and published are what keep me reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a lot of great ones, aren't there? I'm having trouble keeping up!

      Delete
  11. Wow! Excellent post. Powerful words in your post today. Writing can be emotionally draining as you put yourself out there and live through your characters on screen. Thanks for the giveaway too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is draining--and then it's energizing when we get the chance to talk to others about our characters and their stories. So much fun!

      Delete
  12. I keep reading because I'm always discovering new worlds to disappear into!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the way you put this, Susan. I want to disappear when I'm reading, too. The books that let me do that are always my favorites.

      Delete
  13. Writing can be described as painfully blissful. It gives us joy, pleasure, anxiety and wild-out jitters. And it's the best thing ever :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that, Angela: "painfully blissful." Perfectly said.

      Delete
  14. Wonderful post. My greatest joy? Typing "The End." When I'm reading, finding a character that is completely believable. I haven't read anything by Rainbow Rowell yet, but I hope to soon. Thanks for a chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you love believable characters, Rosi, you will love Rainbow Rowell's books. Her characters are beautifully flawed and very real.

      Delete
  15. The love of the story keeps me writing and reading! Nothing better than falling in love with a story, especially one from your own head

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very, very true. Although I admit that for me, reading and writing both start with characters, which is followed closely by the character's stories.

      Delete
  16. I remind myself all the time to trust the process. The first draft is pure magic for me when I can let go of my fears and let the story write itself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful, Jeri. I admit I wish I could let myself go a little more in that first draft.

      Delete
  17. I'm an amateur writer and I find the process very helpful. Reading books of different types keep my passion for writing alive. Thank you very much for sharing this post :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that you're reading to fuel passion for writing. A lot of writers put reading low on their priority list, but I'm convinced the two processes go hand in had to fuel passion and creativity. Not to mention that as writers, we need to know what the market's like!

      Delete
  18. Plot and characters--feeling that connection!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's a good one. Although that's hard. It's almost impossible for me to figure out where all those intersections are for many drafts.

      Delete
  19. Post like yours today keep me writing. Thank you for writing it even though you were emotionally drained. I needed to read it today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad, Taffy! Hang in there. We all have ups and downs, but eventually the ups do win!

      Delete
  20. I love when I discover something I didn't know before I started writing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. good writing and interesting characters

    ReplyDelete
  22. What keeps me reading are amazing characters and a great plot.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have read both Fangirl and Eleanor and Park--loved them! I NEED to get my hands on Attachments before Landline is released!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What keeps me reading - the promise of incredible stories and characters that reach me on a completely different level.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Reading has been my favorite thing to do since I first learned how. I can't imaging my life if I wasn't a reader.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Inspiration keeps me writing. Escapism keeps me reading.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The thing that keeps me reading is the chance i get to live another life for a brief time!

    ReplyDelete

Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)