I often compare writing to being in a relationship, because both are full of ups and downs, give and takes, and love and hate. From the awkward first date to the heartbreaking first fight—writing a book is a lot like being in love.
Stage 1—The awkward first date (the first chapter)
You’ve gotten to know your date over the phone or maybe over the internet, but the first time you go out with him/her is a scary thing. You don’t know what to expect. Maybe things will go as you imagined, then again, you might realize there’s nothing there. Even if things go well, there’s still a level of uneasiness. You don’t know him/her all that well, and your mind races with questions. Is there potential? Do we mesh well? Can I imagine myself spending time with this person?
Stage 2—Looking through rose colored glasses (the first half of the book)
The awkward first date is over, and soon you realize you really like this other person. Each date is anticipated with a tummy-turning giddiness, and before you know it, you’re falling in love—hard and fast, head-over-heels in love. This person can do no wrong and is perfect in every single way. You turn a blind-eye to the imperfections and dismiss his/her quirks with a wave of your hand. The only thing you want to do is spend every, waking hour with the one you love.
Stage 3—The first fight (your first “trouble spot” or bout of writer’s block)
This stage is heartbreaking. You realize your relationship isn’t as perfect as you thought. Maybe you blame yourself for not thinking things through, or maybe you feel guilty for not working hard enough. Sometimes things get downright ugly (laptops may or may not get thrown across the room during this stage). Regardless, if you truly love each other and want to make things work, issues will get resolved, and the two of you will move on—together.
Stage 4—The end of the honeymoon stage (self-explanatory)
The first fight is over, and as the relationship chugs along, you realize things are far from perfect. There are problems—big, ugly, in-your-face problems. But you’re determined to make the relationship work; you’ve come too far to throw it all away. You’re confident that as time goes on, everything will work itself out.
Stage 5—Deciding to stay together or break-up (stick with the novel or shelve it)
This can be one of the most difficult stages. Do you listen to what everyone around you is saying? Do you take their advice? Are you so committed to your other half that you’ll do anything to make things work? Or do you decide to chalk it up as a good learning experience and move on? This is a very personal decision to make, and only you can make it. People can give you their opinions (and they will), but at the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you. If you decide to throw in the towel, don’t worry, there are other fish in the sea/stories inside of you ☺
This was a lot of fun! Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog!!
Editor’s note: Look for a review of Angela V. Cook’s new book “Into a Million Pieces” coming on April 5.