Friday, August 29, 2008

hard hard hard hard HARD.

I lost the plot today. Completely. We are talking sitting in a ball on my kitchen step, tears rolling down my cheeks LOST IT. Yesterday I was on top of the world. Inspiration abounded, a friend wrote me an amazing response to my book, and things were just going right. Today, I lost it.

Every book you read about getting published tells you how HARD it is to get published. If I read the term 'slush pile' one more time, I think I am going to be sick. Hard, hard, hard, hard, hard. I'll tell you what is hard - weeding through all of that crap and still feeling like you have a snowflake's chance you know where of getting published.

My big wall? The synopsis. Everything I read tells me something different. All I want is for my book to get out there and apparently that hinges on whether or not my synopsis catches the eye enough to make someone read further. And this, my friends, has reduced me to tears. I write this because people keep saying how excited and full of excitement for my life I seem to be. I am that, but I am also a big bundle of nerves and fears and insecurities who has written a 70,000 word novel but can't sit down to write 1,500 words about that novel. It sounds so dumb to say that this has reduced me to tears but there it is.

So I have given up for today. I am feeling sad and small and in need of a good hot shower. When it gets so hard that tears come, it's time to take a break.

P.S. Does anyone know how to write a synopsis?


daisies said...

honey, your book is amazing and you can so do this ... i know that you can because anyone who can write in the way that you do, can write a synopsis that will kick butt.

listen to your heart and the reasons that you wrote this book, include those pieces because it is that truth that grabs ... write the synopsis as though you were explaining the book to a friend and then edit it afterwards ...

i believe in you and i believe in your book. totally and completely. much love, xo

Anonymous said...

Oh, Megg, I soooo feel what you are feeling. I also have been reduced to TEARS by this part of the process. The query letter -- what an evil, evil thing! :) At this point, I have decided to re-edit. Some of my query letters got that "this is a great project but TOO LONG" response so I have to cut about 50,000 words, but let me tell you, this sounds like a RELIEF compared to writing that damn synopsis. Pathetic. Concentrate on plot, of course. Write in your own voice. And Daisies' advice about "telling it to a friend" is great. And take some time. Don't rush. Breathe. Let it come to you. You know ... someday soon, when you're not actively thinking about it, you'll be doing something really mundane, like taking a shower, and it will just HIT you how to do it! But again, this part of the process makes me long for, crave, lust after the first drafting part, you know? When you're just caught in the writing and daydreaming about getting to the end? I think this is just proof of the whole "the process is the point," whether in writing, life, spiritual awakenings, whatever.

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colleen said...

(deleted comment was me... was logged in as Jay by mistake!)

I'm not a writer but I do know quite a bit about stress and tears. I hope your break helped you feel better about things. I'd also suggest some chocolate and wine. :o) Hope things work out, I'm sure they will.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!!! If you need anything leading up to your big day let me know.


Anonymous said...

This is just a thought - but maybe just go to or similar and spend some time just pulling up books in your genre and reading synopses. Without judgement or analysis, just to get the feeling of the flow and the "language" of summaries to get you in the swing of it. Then leave the computer. Let it percolate. And then sit down again and I betchu the words just come right out! You are already the most qualified "expert" in the world when it comes to your book.

Marianne said...

I think some tasks grow too big in our hearts and heads and we have to walk away from them to let them shrink back to size. When they stop being unruly psychological giants then we have a chance of getting them done.

Stopping, having a good cry, sharing honestly - you've done everything right. Now that you've released all the oversize pressure, the synopsis itself will become a task you can tackle again.


Brandi said...

I know this sounds trite but thank god your human. And that your letting the mess out all over the place. That's the best place to be-from all chaos comes creation.

doesn't mean chaos doesn't suck. ;-)

Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

The advice of "telling it to a friend" is what I was going to say. I use that technique a lot in my writing when I feel stuck and overwhelmed. It's easy to get caught up in trying to write it right the first time. Trying to answer the basic questions a friend might ask usually helps me. Sending you fireflies of inspiration and peace!

Kirsten Michelle said...

i've no advice or words of wisdom, sweetie...
but i believe in you...

Amber said...

I can totally see how that would be hard to do! I mean, you might feel like you have the one chance to get attention. With a novel, you think people will read long enough to get it. With a synopsis you have less to work with to tell a big idea! Don't feel bad about that.

I bet you could find samples on line, do you think? I would try to do that, and study them.

good luck love.


Anonymous said...

oh, meg

i hear what you're saying. i have no words of wisdom right now but i am sending love. you will get through this. trust your heart.

Jessie said...

meg, i understand what you are saying. many people have told me the same thing, but the truth is that these past months have been some of the hardest and scariest of my life. why? because this REALLY matters to me!

i know that this is easier to say than to do...but write your synopsis from the heart. quit thinking about publishers for just a minute and write it for yourself. you'll know when you have the right words by the emotional response it creates in you. you can always go back and edit it later. for now, just go for the gut.

as my writing teacher used to say: you gotta write from the gut! he would put his hand on his stomach and nearly bend towards us with passion. he was right. that's where the best stuff comes from. that's where your story came from. as for the synopsis, you just need to let your heart go there without worrying about the publishers. you can worry about them later.

anyway...i believe in you. more than you could possibly know.

i love you BIG time, sister!

enchantedartist said...

Oh Megg...that synopsis is in you's going to come out! I have felt this kind of hopelessness...and frustration with myself many times.

It's tough honey...but it's going to pass...

Sending you much love...and encouragement...

Jamie said...

Megg, you have all you need to do this. You are a brilliant writer.

I am absolutely with Jessie. When it's something that really matters to you, it can get really scary. It sounds like you feel that you're holding the fate of this wonderful book in your hands and the next live-or-die challenge is the synopsis. With all that pressure, no wonder it's hard to make write.

But remember, my dear friend, we are your audience and we love you. Write the synopsis as though you were telling us about the book, sharing with us all your passion for this story. Imagine we're sitting over tea and you're saying, "Jamie, let me tell you a little bit about my story."

I believe in you. We all believe in you. You can do this.

Lymie Lisa said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! It's so funny - I've been reading (ahem, uh...lurking) on your blog for a long time now, and when I saw your name, I was so excited. I don't know why I never commented, but here I am.

I hope your hot shower and break left you feeling relaxed and more like yourself. I like Jennifer's comment above about "telling it to a friend." No matter how you find your way through this, I know you'll succeed! Sending love and inspiration!

Lisa :)