The Ebb & Flow of Writing

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The mountains are back. They disappear every spring when tall trees explode with foliage, then reappear in the fall, slowly, day by day as leaves, tired from months waving in the hot summer sun, cascade down quilting the ground with reds, yellows, and browns.

October South Mountains View
While watching this daily transformation from my office window in my log home in the North Carolina Mountains, I’m reminded of the ebb and flow of all living things, even the ebb and flow of my writing life. One minute my mind bursts forth with ideas coming at me so fast my fingers stumble over the keys, while other times I sit and stare wondering if I’ll ever have an original thought again. One moment my current WIP consumes me. It’s all I can think about. When it’s done, finished and ready to submit, there’s a let-down that often affects my ability to move forward to the next project, at least for a little while. 

It's the letting go, somewhat akin to sending your baby off to kindergarten or to college, that puts you in a tailspin. Perhaps that’s a little melodramatic but if you’re a writer you understand that when you spend hours upon hours with certain characters in certain locations, close ties develop. These characters become real, are real, at least to you.

The same is true when writing nonfiction. You become close to certain researchers or interviewees or people important to helping get the information straight, the story right. The almost daily contact fosters relationships beyond the facts of the story as conversation drifts to more personal subjects, family and daily struggles. You don't intend it but friendships develop after days of contact. When the manuscript is finished, the book out, daily contact ceases.

I'm feeling a little of that right now--the separation from daily contact. My nonfiction is out and I'm missing multiple folks who helped me along the way; folks from my high school (the book is about an event that happened there) and folks from Virginia, where my story ends; folks I've known for years and those who are new but feel as if they've been friends for years.

November South Mountains View
Letting go is hard. But just as trees release the leaves with the changing seasons, so to we must release our work, at first to the agent or editor or publisher and then to the world so our book can do its job inspiring, teaching, influencing and entertaining readers.

That's what being a writer is all about.

Have you ever had trouble letting go when you've finished a manuscript or a book? I'd love to hear your story.


Website: www.arliebooks.comBlog: http://sandrawarrenwrites.blogspot.comTwitter:


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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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