© Christine M. Miller-Ramey 2012
Every writer knows the dreaded key on our computer is the key labeled—enter. It is the finale of all that we have written and it shows the progress of the hard work we’ve accomplished. Yet, sending that off to the editor or to the company to publish is a scary thing. By hitting that button on our keyboard, we know we may never have the chance to go back and fix something ever again.
For me, I dread sending my chapter with long hours of hard work off to my critique partner. I dread hearing her tell me that it’s awful or no good. I don’t like being told that my hard work is pointless or that there is no meaning to it. I’ve not had that happen yet, but in the beginning when I first started writing I’ve had some unkind words said to me about my work. Sometimes, it may not have always been the words that were said but defined by the bleeding of red ink on the page. The ones that show and highlight all of the mistakes you made. They certainly didn’t have any bones about doing that.
Even now, with writing my work over and over again, and sometimes feeling like the book will never be closed, it is often hard to keep pressing on. Yet, I do it. How do we keep going after being rejected? How do function and get our work on track again? It’s so frustrating.
Yes there are many ways to keep track of every change made in your work through wonderful programs like Word. But honestly, I don’t do that. It causes too much trouble for me especially with formatting the thing. I simply delete it and start from scratch. Many have told me that’s a waste of time. . .and maybe it is. . .but it’s my way of doing things.
Every writer quickly learns that each has their own system of doing things, and none are right or wrong. It’s what works for you as an individual. Some have used notecards and some have used a dry eraser boards to keep up with characters and dates and such. For me, I tend to use a notebook.
Rejections are never fun and they are never easy to go through when you’ve worked hard on your piece. I can’t tell you how many rejections I’ve received since I’ve started writing just a few years ago. Yet, through each one of them, I’ve learned so much as well as something new every time. I’ve learned how to correct what’s wrong and how to fix it in my future work. Just like with my novel, I’ve re-written it for what seems like a hundred times by now, but it hasn’t stopped me from getting it done. Instead, what I’ve learned to do is to dust it off my shoulders and move on.
Writing is hard work, plain and simple. There is no lie about that. Keeping everything together, and remembering who goes where, and what events had happened within your book is hard to keep up with. But it’s even harder to hit that finale of a key and to send it out across cyberspace. What’s worse is the uneasy feeling you get of never knowing if it was the right timing in doing it. Did I need to look it over one last time? Did I cross the t’s and dot the i’s as I should have and been taught to do? Little things like this can bog you down when writing. It can tear you apart from head to toe if you aren’t too careful.
Still, it’s a process, one that each writer has to learn to deal with. Sometimes you can feel weighed down to go through it, but trust me, you will get through it. The book will be written. At least that’s what I keep telling myself every day as I sit in front of my computer screen. I enjoy the process and I enjoy letting my characters think for themselves. (That’s a whole another topic all together. . .someday I’ll explain that in full detail too.)
Hitting that enter key isn’t easy. In fact, it can be terrifying for any writer to go through. The fear of rejection and the fear of not being wanted can damage you emotionally. But the thrill of doing it and sending it off can be rewarding too. To hear those words, “You’ve been accepted.” “We want YOUR work.” Those words bleed through us and in our hearts every day as we write. The hope of one day being published.