by Morgan S. Hazelwood
Sometimes, when you’re stuck at some writing stage for too long, it can be hard to remember why you started this thing in the first place. Whether you’re drafting, editing, revising, querying, submitting, or marketing, there’s likely some point where you feel like you’re never going to reach the next stage.
Me? I’m currently stuck in the [Query -> Get Feedback -> Revise -> Get Beta Feedback -> Edit -> Send More Queries] loop. And have been, on and off, for nearly 3 years.
It can be really disheartening.
Fortunately, I keep getting small tastes–little reminders–of just why I do this.
Here are 10 things I love most about being a writer:
1 – Exploring new worlds!
Whether it’s a ‘what-if’ scenario in my head, or filling in the details from some hardly remembered dream, creating a world, exploring it, and finding out how it works is something I find FASCINATING.
2 – Meeting New Characters
I am a friendly person. I love getting to know my characters, finding out their hopes and dreams. Being there for them when they face their fears. And? Watching them grow into the person they were always meant to be.
Plus? I like watching jerks get their comeuppance.
3 – Finding out what happens and why!
Often, when I start a story, I know a couple of the key scenes and the broad strokes that make up my characters. It’s not until I’m there with them in the trenches that I find out how they got there and what pushes them on.
Instead of just a highlights reel, I get to see them, every step of the journey.
4 – When you get that turn of phrase. Just. Right.
This is a bit more of a technique related reason, but it’s true.
Sometimes, you have an emotion or a concept that you agonize over conveying to the audience. The phrasing might come on the first try, or 12 tries in, on the fourteenth draft, but when you get it right, you can SEE your readers opting to highlight and share that sucker.
You can see your story connecting with someone who’s been there before and needed to hear it.
5 – Getting to read other writers works early
I’ve opened myself up to the writing community and they’ve welcomed me with open arms.
The more beta reading/critiquing I do, the more I realize just how creative and talented my friends are. And? The more I dream about how awesome it will be when we’re all the big name authors, and we can say “I knew them when…”
6 – Helping my friends fine-tune their novels
The flip side of number 5. This way, I get to watch great manuscripts turn into amazing stories that fly off the shelves. Being there as they learn and grow — and hopefully picking up a few things, myself.
7 – The terrifying hope that comes when an agent asks for more pages
Hope has never been so sharp as when I get that request or send off those pages.
Need I say more?
8 – Having an answer outside of my day-job when people ask me, “so, what do you do?”
I’m in the DC metro area. Asking people, ‘so, what do you do?’ is asked almost before they get your name. But? I hang out with a lot of creatives, and I know that I’m more than just my day-job. I like supporting my friends, consuming webcomics, novels, and art. But? I like being able to contribute something, too. Not just as a consumer.
9 – Seeing how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished
I may not be agented or published yet. But I’ve got one polished novel, two full rough drafts, a WIP, a handful of short stories, some poetry, a blog, and a community that supports me.
All this stuff takes work and dreaming and persistence. It might be ego, but I have to acknowledge to myself that I’m the reason it’s happened.
10 – And my favorite? Serendipity
When I figure out a plot point or background detail that makes everything just come together.
Guest post contributed by Morgan Hazelwood. Morgan is currently working on the fantasy coming-of-age adventure Flesh and Ink. These days, when not writing, you can find her devouring book series on her kindle, hitting the gym, dressing up at local conventions, or feeding her web comic addiction. She also lends her voice to Anansi Storytelling – a radio-style podcast of folk tales from around the world.