David said something to me the other night that kind of shook my world. He said, as I struggled through changes on my book and lamented how far from even decent it was, “Are you still finding any joy in this process? Because if you’re not, I think you should take a step back. The joy of writing is how you got this far, and I don’t want you to lose that. It doesn’t really matter whether you get an agent, or get published, or make any money. You’ve come this far and as long as you found it joyful, nothing else matters.”
I’m hoping you won’t be surprised when I say that the whole thing brought me to tears.
Because the truth is, I have lost the joy. I’ve been so focused on perfecting it – round after round of changes, rewriting, edits; compiling agent lists, who to query, when to query; writing the impossible query; failing to write the even more impossible synopsis – that I’ve stopped loving it. I haven’t done any other writing – it’s why I haven’t posted here in months. I haven’t even really been doing much else, because all my free time I want to devote to the book.
And I hate it.
So today, I’m letting go.
Don’t worry, I’m not giving up. I’m just letting go of my book. I sent my first query letter yesterday, and I just sent another one. The book is not perfect. The query letter is not perfect. The synopsis still is not even written. But I’m letting go.
Because the truth is, I know that finding it joyful is important. But I also know that nothing worth doing is ever easy. And that every success follows at least some struggle. So I’ll give myself a break. I’ll let it go for now. And when I find the joy again, I’ll come back for more of the pain.