Welcome Melissa. Take it away!
Writing Intuitively, by Melissa Foster
This is my big reveal. I hope you know that at this very second I feel naked and alone. I’m a little shaky, because what I’m going to say is that important and private to me. I hope you will treat it with grace and tender hands.
I’m the type of writer who feels connected to every word on the page. When they flow, I know they’re the right ones to use, and when they don’t, I step away. Forcing a manuscript never quite works. I’ve been given the glorious opportunity to work with famed literary agent Jenny Bent. She’s an inspiration to me, and one of the most patient, supportive, and professional women I know. I want to make her proud, and I work hard to do so. Working with Jenny has brought my writing to a new level. You see, before Jenny (yes, my life is now qualified as “before” and “after” Jenny), I wrote what I felt with little concern over genre or what others would think of my writing. I had hoped readers would like it, but one can never be sure. Now, after Jenny, I write with an overwhelming concern about what others will think. There are bigger qualifications for traditional publishing—the theme thread, for example, must be pulled tighter, the audience must be present in your mind at all times, and above all, suddenly there will be a group of publishing professionals qualifying that writing. Just a tad S C A R Y.
This is the dream of most writers, being repped by an excellent agent. I’m there. I’m repped by, in my opinion, the best literary agent out there, and I’m scared shitless. Yup, this confident girl, who never before encountered writer’s block, suddenly stares at the page with trepidation. Silly? Maybe. I’m writing this blog post and sharing this insecurity as a means of helping others (and maybe myself?). Face your fears, and you shall overcome!
I’m sure I’m not alone in this fear, though it feels like a very solitary place to be. I’d like to share with you what I am doing to overcome this fear, and hoping it might help you, as well.
1. Load up on chocolate, it really does help.
2. Spend more time outlining, then look at it from a reader’s perspective before diving in.
3. Brainstorm your story ideas with friends and readers. Get a feel for their enthusiasm—borrow their excitement for your inspiration.
4. Dance Write like nobody’s watching.
5. Be kind to yourself. Write as you would have before, pushing past the fear, and forgive yourself your little insecurities.They’re natural.
6. KNOW you CAN succeed. Tell that little nagging voice to bug off! In my case, if Jenny liked my previous work, she’ll probably like my future work. Built in motivation.
7. This is my personal favorite – There’s always time for revisions.
The bottom line is that no one can write YOUR manuscript—no one can write MY manuscript. We have to tell ourselves that our writing is worthy of praise, and look past the butterflies swirling in our stomachs (feed them chocolate, it calms them).
I’d love to hear your thoughts on writing insecurities and how you push past them. Share with me?
Check out Melissa's Books at AMAZON
Article written for Andi's Realm