Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where's Your Special Spot?

Rejection can sap our confidence. The only way to get past that is to get right back to submitting/writing again. Easy, right??

For weeks on the heels of yet another rejection, I have been resisting the need to complete edits and start the submission process again. I run through scenes that need changing in my mind, yet words don't flow to the keyboard. I'm "stuck". I know I need to do this. I know my manuscript will sell.

It's time to break the "stuck" cycle and go where I think the best. Six years ago my husband, then fiance, hand dug a heart-shaped rose garden for me. I watched him daily work on that garden simply for the reason I said I always wanted a rose garden. For our wedding, he gave me a bench for the garden so I could sit out there and de-stress. It is the place I go when I'm overwhelmed, upset or just need quiet time.

So facing edits that just aren't coming, I grab pen and paper and head to the rose garden. Although they are not in bloom yet, new growth is evident. I walk around the garden and check out each plant. Settling comfortably onto the bench, I close my eyes and imagine the scene that needs the most work -- the words start forming in my mind.

With pen in hand, I am able to break the stuckness and start the process of revisions. As I progress through the "simple" edits, my confidence grows. Confidence that even after rejections, I can make this into a marketable manuscript. My heart and soul are in this story. I have cried for my characters, with my characters and cheered them through their triumphs.

So now the revisions are done and I have sent out more queries for my baby. The waiting begins again. And in that waiting process there will be times I will be sitting in my rose garden -- peaceful and confident.

Where do you go when your muse is rebelling?

10 comments:

Jennifer Carroll said...

When my muse rebels I go in a huff and stomp off to the ironing board, vacuum, grocery store etc etc. Hadn't thought to go somewhere peaceful and patiently wait for her to come back to me! I shall give it a try - and my peaceful place would be our attic room. It's v spacious and sunny - I'll let you know if it turns out my muse likes it there too.
And best of luck with the new set of queries - I'm still deep in edits but am hoping to join you in the waiting room in a few weeks time.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks for sharing your special spot with us. Gardens are wonderful places to go to rejuvenate. What a thoughtful hubby! Rejections are tough, but part of the game. Good luck with your future submissions.

Sheila Tenold said...

I, too, love gardens.
I won't call this my muse, but I walk alone in the evening after dinner. Darkness surrounds me and the stars overhead open my mind to endless possibilities. I often hear dialogue inside my head, scenes take shape, and conflict arises. I return to my writing re-energized.

Jodi Lynn Copeland said...

LOL Jennifer! You and I sound the same. I don't really have a good muse spot, but I take comfort in the outdoors, particularly when if and when I have time to take a solo walk through the woods and take in that serenity. My mind can finally clear and I can focus. I also find it helps just taking time away from writing in general. I have a proposal I am working on now that I couldn't really see the weaknesses in a few months ago. I had to take a forced time out due to ill health in the family this winter. I am finally getting back to writing and the weaknesses are glaring. My muse is now anxious to muse, so if I can just find the time... :)

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I pull out my sewing machine and create baby quilts that I give away. It is peaceful and since I need to concentrate of getting those squares straight, I let all my other thoughts go away for awhile. When I am ready to spend time with my characters again, they seem happy to have me back.

Your garden sounds gorgeous and your guy very special for making it for you! :)

Angela Kay Austin said...

I don't have a spot, but I have a dream of having a spot ;-) I love nature. I love the idea of having a spot near a lake surrounded by trees. Quiet and untouched by anything.

Ami said...

What a wonderful idea! Love the heart-shaped garden. I, like Jennifer, do mindless tasks. Clean the bathroom. Fold laundry. Vacuum. Garden. Enough to kind of loosen the flow. It seems to take the performance pressure off me and usually ideas start to flow. But not always. :)

jilljames said...

When my muse is not cooperating I take him to Starbuck's Yes, my muse is a him. My Barnes & Noble has a Starbuck's and when I'm there writing I feel this feeling coming over me. I'm a real writer! That is my special place.

Clarissa Southwick said...

Great blog, Emma! Whenever I start to clean my house, I instantly get a dozen story ideas begging to be written.

Gina L said...

Emma, I love the sound of your garden. What a thoughtful husband and what a wonderful place to de-stress. For me, I take a shower. There is something about the warm water washing away my stress that helps my brain refocus. I have been known to run out of hot water, so God bless my family if anyone actually NEEDS to shower when I'm done. Thanks for sharing.