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Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...

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If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG: When It's Toughest, Reach The Deepest

I cannot believe that it is August 1 already. Where has the year gone? I have so many writing projects that I had hoped I would have finished, queried, edited, etc. Anyway, today is the first Wednesday, which means it is also time for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group, started by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh. Once a month we writers help each other out by listening to our fellow authors as they air their doubts, rave about their triumphs and so on. We gather to show each other support. If you haven't joined, please do, all are welcome.

Today I want to talk about that time when things are at their darkest. When schedules have gotten so clogged with family stuff, day job commitments and other non-writing business that there is no time to sit with your stories or edits. That time when you've finished your query, sent your baby out and now the rejections are piling up like sandbags before flood waters. That time when you just can't seem to figure out what to do with the sagging middle and if you look at those characters in that room with the drugs one more time, you are going rip out your hair and run screaming into the night. Those times when you are just burned out with that novel and wonder why the heck you started down this road to begin with.

This is the test for a writer. Do we have what it takes to persevere and cross the line in gold medal fashion? I say...Yes. You. Do. In watching the Olympics, I have seen athletes in complete disarray,  shattered by pain and mistakes, rise up and fight for their dream, that Olympic medal, that personal best. You must find it within you to keep going, victory is just ahead. That saying darkest before dawn comes to mind. It's an old cliche because it is true. When we are closest to realizing our dreams, to finally finishing, the demons get bigger, the obstacles seem  insurmountable. This is when we must dig deepest and find it within us to forge ahead with that fourth round of revisions we were told were necessary, to send out more queries, though our rejections could wallpaper the entire Sistine Chapel, to find a way to get those characters out of that drug room.

Reaching for the stars is hell, but oh so worth it. You can do it, keep writing, keep fighting, keep sending out your work. You will find your way through these setbacks, this burnout, these rejections...I believe that with all my heart. If I didn't, I would not be published. I would be sitting in a cubicle, stressed out with an ulcer while Maxie, Ryanne, Nathan and my other characters all gathered dust under my bed. Things still get horrible and I still sit in a cubicle, but the walls don't seem so close because every once in a while, I see stars.

Keep on writing!

37 comments:

  1. Do we give up or do we fight? No one in the world would know about Cassans, Cosbolts, and Byron if I'd given up. We still have to fight some days, but we made it, Melissa.
    And I want a cubicle with stars...

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    1. I am very happy to know all about Cassans, Cosbolts and Byron so I am very happy you kept at it. And we do still have to fight, I'm in the midst of one right now. Cubicles with stars are amazing. :)

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  2. I've also asked myself yesterday - when did Mr. August manage to sneak upon us so secretly?

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    1. I know! Why that rotten bastard... How dare he?

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    2. and that fat missus September is already breathing down our backs... flimsy fox she is....

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  3. This is the second IWSG post I've seen that talks about the Olympics. You have to admire the competitors who in some cases are still struggling with the fact they've missed out on a medal while preparing for another discipline. The strength they need to focus is overwhelming.

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    1. If I could have a tenth of their focus and drive some days. I love watching them and they do inspire me very much.

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  4. This is some wonderful writing, Melissa, and your message is oneI needed to read today. Thank you.
    Karen

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    1. Thank you, Karen! That means a lot to me. I'm so very glad you were able to take something from this post. I wish all the best and the stars.

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  5. I'm always awed watching the Olympians. Their dedication is phenomenal.
    I can't believe it's August either. I've been editing so much I'm behind schedule on writing. Need to catch up this month.
    Thanks for the wonderful post Melissa!

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    1. Marta, I am so happy you liked this post. Keeping my fingers crossed for you as you tackle those edits. You can do it!

      And the Olympics are definitely one of my favorite things. So inspiring to watch.

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  6. "We have to fight, to build our own reality."

    Lauren
    Lauren-ritz.blogspot.com

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    1. I love that quote! Thank you for sharing. :)

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  7. Great positive message in this post. Thank you for writing it.

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    1. Thank you!!! I'm thrilled you thought this was a great message. I love encouraging my fellow writers because I know what I deal with every day. Thank you for the awesome support.

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  8. Thanks so much for the supportive words, Melissa! Argh, those rejections... But I keep writing because I love the stories and characters!

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    1. Deniz, I am so happy you enjoyed the post. Those rejections can weigh, but you have the right attitude. Writing for love of story and character is the most important thing.

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  9. You make me want to find some pompoms and cheer right along with you!!! Love it! :)

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    1. Thanks Jemi! There are definitely those times when a cheerleading squad for writers would come in handy. :)

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  10. I think so many of us find inspiration watching the success and failures of Olympic athletes.

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    1. Johanna, they really do define the word. I just love watching the world come together and seeing those amazing feats of human endurance. What they do and the sacrifices they make...It is awe-inspiring.

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  11. The Olympics are always an inspiration! Such dedication to craft from which we as writers can learn so much.

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    1. Every time I watch the Olympics I am stunned and amazed by the sheer will power of these athletes. They have the ultimate fire within. I agree wholeheartedly, we as writers can learn from them because those edits, rejections, etc leave us in disarray and pain.

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  12. Wow! Great post! I'm seeing stars right now! Thank you. Dedication and perseverance are 90% of writing.

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    1. Thank you so much Tyrean! I'm so happy you stopped by. Yes, dedication and perseverance are the hugest part of the craft. They keep the spark going and turn it into a flame.

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  13. Oh! That was a fantastic post!!! I especially love the last line. I feel so inspired. :) Thank you.

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    1. I am very happy that I was able to give you such a lift. As I was writing this I had on the gymnastics competition and I watched that little girl who missed her own dream of all-around, dig in and give her all for the team. It got me to thinking how many times writers get overcome with all the bad stuff like rejections. How close we are to victory, only to get knocked back by some of our biggest demons.

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  14. This was a fabulous pep talk, Melissa - rock on!!!
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Thank you, Mina! I love the positive feedback I'm getting. I think this might be one of my favorite posts.

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  15. Always fight. Never give up.

    Great post, Melissa!

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    1. Thank you, my friend. Have you heard that song The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes, I think? I was listening to it as I edited this and it is a powerful song.

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  16. Beautiful post Melissa! Worth its weight in gold :D
    I needed this, thank you!

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    1. Aww... thank you, Ela. It means a lot that you found this post to be what you needed. Hugs!

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  17. Stupendous post! Finding the strength to continue to dig in and headbutt the mounting obstacles is easier when you have the inspiration of a friend like you. Cheers!

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    1. Thank you very much! Your words mean the world. You are are a tremendous friend to have at the wall, too. :)

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  18. Such an inspirational post!I Hope that stars keep lighting your path my friend =)

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  19. Thanks for this awesome burst of inspiration, Melissa. You're the best.

    xoRobyn

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