Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Keeps You Going?

I came across this quote the other day and just loved it. It describes exactly how I feel toward my projects.

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything. 
— Virginia Woolf 

This is exactly how I feel at the start of a new project. It's like that giddy rush you feel when you first fall in love. I love my story, I can't get enough of it. Then, something maybe doesn't work exactly how I want it to. I have to work a little harder, move things around. My words don't seem as brilliant. The polish isn't as shiny. 
But, if I care about it enough (and heaven knows there are enough manuscripts I've shoved in a drawer and have never looked at again) then I keep at it, working at it until it's everything I wanted it to be.

The giddy rush comes back when I write the end and begin to edit. That also fades after a while as the work becomes more intense. And then it's done and a new giddy rush hits :)

And Ms. Woolf is right - it's that determination to not give in that keeps me going. If it wasn't for that, I'd never finish a book.

How about you? Do you feel that initial rush of first love that eventually dies down? What keeps you going?


  1. Yes, I experience the same initial giddiness too. I put the work away (physically)when the giddiness passes. Then the strength of the story is tested by the persistence with which it stays in my head regardless. So I pick it up and complete it with that determination of which you speak. This is the ebb and flow of my creative process.

  2. I can so relate to that right now. My book started on fire, finished the first 100 pages in like two weeks, the last 200 have taken my almost 6 months now. Weird, but slowly the pieces are coming together and that rush does come back at times.

    I do love the rush though because when that happens is when the words just flow. Wish I could find a way to bottle it and take a drink every time I sit down to write.

  3. I guess what keeps me going is realizing the commitment I have for it and the realization that I don't want to live my life without finishing it (especially if the story is "the one" I want to spend my life with). It truly is like a relationship. With some stories, we've merely dated, then broke up after three months. There were some things I liked about them, but they were easy to put aside.

    With my WIP, I found that I couldn't be parted from it easily. I put it aside after the first rush of feeling, but then I found myself thinking about it over and over. New ideas and energy flowed. I was in love again.

  4. I feel so much love and excitement when I start something new. And I always, always love the ending I have and can't wait to write it. That's why I always write in order. Because the drudging middle comes and I need a reward for pushing through it. In the end though, I love all of the steps, even when it's so frustrating.

  5. Mine is definitely that...but it seems to go back and forth. I'm excited, then bored, then excited, then annoyed, then excited, etc. haha It's just a roller coaster. It's definitely rewarding to finish it though and that's a big part of what keeps me going.


  6. With the book I'm revising now, I haven't really had a moment where I don't want to work on it. I'm always feeling that I don't have enough time. So, in this case, I think it's the story itself that keeps me coming back.

  7. I keep going because I can't imagine NOT doing this. And I am convinced hard work will get me where I want to I keep plugging away. No matter what.


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