Thursday, July 25, 2013

Waiting for the Urge

I came across an old interview with bestselling author, Sue Grafton, online yesterday (you can read the whole interview here . . . I highly recommend it) in which she laid out "the 10 stages of the creative cycle" as she experiences it. I found it somehow reassuring:

  1. Urge
  2. Inspirations
  3. Research
  4. First Draft
  5. Revisions
  6. Completion
  7. Submission
  8. Elation
  9. Second Thoughts
10. Dormancy 

You see, I'm a slow writer like her. She puts out a book every other year. (Okay, I'm even slower at this stage of my career. If I can get to a book every other year, I'll consider that progress!)

Anyway, I'm sort of in that 10th stage just now. I say "sort of" because while I've submitted my latest manuscript to an agent, I've also got it out to some beta readers. I've learned enough by now to hedge my bets and be ready for the agent rejection, sending me into perhaps one more round of revisions. Then I'll submit it to about 20 other selected agents (plus a couple of other editors I pitched who wanted the full).

(If you're wondering why I haven't yet sent it to those editors, it's because I'm really hoping this manuscript will get me an agent, and I want the agent first.)

Still, the completion of the story left me elated . . . for a while. Then, as Sue Grafton describes:

Second Thoughts . . . creep in again making you wonder if the book is anywhere close to what you hoped for when you first started out.

So here I wait in Dormancy--"that point when your head is completely empty and you're convinced you'll never have another idea for as long as you live."

Waiting. Waiting for the Urge.

1 comment:

  1. "That point where you're convinced your head is completely empty..." Yes, I've felt that one. :)