|Photo credit: threephin on Flickr|
Usually when we talk about excitement and writing, we tend to think about pacing and keeping our readers invested and interested in the story. And while both of those elements are undoubtedly important, I want to talk about the other side of the curtain.
That is, you, the writer.
Completing a novel from first to final draft is a grueling business. It requires months or years of dedication, hard work and motivation to finish something that has no guarantee of leaving your computer. It’s exhausting, sometimes frustrating and often rewarding, but to reach completion, it requires a little extra ingredient that we don’t often talk about.
That’s right: I’m talking about excitement.
There’s no doubt in my mind that I do my best writing and editing when I’m excited to work. When I’m eager to get started, or get to that next scene, or edit these words until they shine like The Great Pyramids of Giza in 2500 B.C. When I’m excited to write, it doesn’t feel like work—even if I’m struggling with the words, as long as I can hold on to that little spark inside, the struggle doesn’t seem so bad because I’m doing something I’ve been excited about doing.
And the importance of being excited about your work doesn’t end when you’ve revised the final page to a glistening shine— it should overflow into your query letters and pitches and tweets to the world about your awesome book. Because the truth is, no one is going to get excited about your work if you aren’t excited about it first.
I’m not saying that you can’t be nervous, and I’m not saying that you have to be excited about it every day, in fact, I doubt that’s going to be the case (although if it is, more power to you). There are going to be days when you just don’t feel like writing. There are going to be weeks when you stare at the mountain of edits you have to accomplish and feel like throwing the manuscript out the window. And the thing is, that’s ok. It’s normal.
But if you can remind yourself how it felt when that initial spark of excitement about your new project hit, or when you had that flutter in your stomach after writing a particularly awesome scene, it can be a huge step towards getting back on track when you’re feeling down.
And if you can hold on to that excited energy while you’re working on your WIP, or pitching it to agents and editors or selling it online, people will take notice. Because excitement is contagious—it leaks into your words and overflows into your smile and it makes people want to get in on it too.
It makes people want to be excited with you. And that can make all the difference.
Thinking back to your last (or current) WIP, at what point did you feel the most excited about your work? Share your experiences in the comments below!