Writing is a lot of fun, but sometimes it can turn into an obsession. It's perfectly normal to have bad days (or even a bad month) where we feel like we're wasting time or getting nowhere. It's even normal to chuck the whole writing idea and ignore it for a while. But don't let the quest for publication turn you bitter. Aside from it not being healthy emotionally, it can actually hurt the writing.
I Love This Story So Much
Everything in moderation is more than a cliche, it's a good rule to live--and write--by. By our natures, writers tend to be solitary, hanging out with imaginary people and immersing ourselves in our own worlds. It's good for us to get out and see this "life" thing we write about all the time. And when we don't? Well, here are a few things that have sabotaged more than a few writers.
Let Me Tell Your About My Book
It's all you think about, so it's all you talk about. Every day, all the time. Aside from potentially annoying friends and family, if you never actually write the book, you'll never get anywhere with it. You can't sell ideas to a publisher, you need the words that explore those ideas. Sit down and start writing.
No, Wait! It's Not Ready Yet
You have a book, but you keep fiddling with it, revising every line, rethinking every plot. You're so worried about making it perfect you never "finish" it. If you want to sell a novel, you have to send it out. If all you're doing is tweaking a word here and there, you're ready. Send it out and start the next novel.
My Book Rocks
On the flip side, are those who love their words so much they don't feel the need to change a single one. While there is the rare writer out there who can write a perfect first draft, odds are it's not you. (Especially if you're getting rejections) Writing is rewriting, and even the greats take time to polish and revise their work. Love the story all you want, but remember that the words to tell that story can change as often as they need to. Revision is your friend.
They Just Don't Know a Good Novel When They See it
"They" can be anyone from friends to agents to editors, but they all have one thing in common: they don't love your novel as much as you do. Even if the story is as good as you think, if no one else is seeing it, something is wrong. The writing may not be at pro level yet, or you haven't gotten everything in your head onto the page. Don't blame others for not recognizing what's great about your work. Get in there and make sure it's clear as day to everyone who reads it.
Why Won't Anyone Love Me?
You love your novel, so do critique partners and friends, but agents and editors don't seem to share that love. This is probably the most frustrating of them all, because you really believe in the story you've worked so hard on. The sad truth is, you can have a good novel and still not be able to sell it. With all the writers out there with good novels, a novel needs to be great to stand out. If the book you love isn't landing anywhere, start a new one. Trust me, I know from experience how hard this can be, but I also know that I wouldn't be published today if I hadn't moved on. I still love my first novel and hope to one day find a way to get others to love it, too, but I couldn't let it hold me back any longer. If this is where you are, let the story go, and get out there and meet new ones. You'll love them, too.
Stories are About Life, not a Substitute for Life
There's nothing wrong with loving what we do, but as writers, we need to be able to bring characters to life. If we never experience life, it makes it kinda hard to portray it well. Inspiration is all around us, but we need to get out there to let it whack us in the head. Writing can be a huge part of your life, just don't let it become everything in your life.
Let it be something you love doing, not something that prevents you from doing anything else.