One of the biggest parts of the writing process—possibly the biggest part—is rewriting. And rewriting. And rewriting. Which can be exhausting and frustrating and depressing and mind-numbing, and a whole host of other feelings. But when you’re spending hours/days/weeks/months picking apart your work and finding every single flaw, how do you stay in love?
Picture it this way: you are dating the most perfect specimen every. You are whichever side you prefer of the Gosling/Stone relationship from Crazy Stupid Love (each of which is, let’s face it, scary perfect). And, like any other relationship, at first it’s all sexy and perfect and brunch in bed. But slowly, over time, you start to see the cracks. Maybe Ryan Gosling picks his nose and eats it. Maybe Emma Stone kicks puppies. Maybe both of them hate reading.
You start to see all the flaws.
But still, you’re dating Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone! There was love there, in the beginning. The question is, how do you keep the love despite the flaws?
Luckily, books are not people. It is much easier to change the flaws in books than the flaws in people.
So how do you stay in love when your manuscript is a booger-eating Ryan Gosling? When you’re embarrassed to be seen out in public together?
You try to remember the good times.
You try to remember why you started writing in the first place. Why this idea, more than the millions of other thoughts that pass through your head every day, demanded a book from you. Why this idea stopped you in your tracks, why it haunted you, and forced you to write. What about it made you keep going after 5,000 words.
Why, after the first draft was done, you chose to go back and read it. And edit it. Why you acknowledged that the first draft was a pile of brain crap, and still resolved to go back and fix it.
And fix it again.
And fix it again.
When you get bogged down with frustration and exhaustion, remind yourself why you wrote this book in the first place. Or, hell, why you even write in the first place.
Hold onto that feeling.