Writing Success & The Art of Finding Your Way Back to Your Projects #MondayBlogs #Writers

After reading as much as I can about the literary journeys of different authors, I have come to the conclusion that writing success comes to those who have…mastered the art of finding their way back to their projects.

We leave our stories behind for a variety of reasons:

  • We need to distance ourselves from them at the end of drafting.
  • Beta reader criticism has started to sting.
  • Rejections have broken our heart.
  • We don’t think it is working as a story.
  • We have lost faith in our abilities.

For whatever reason you bid farewell to a writing project, finding your way back to it can be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. 

Returning to a first draft which you finished writing a few months ago can be tough, especially when all those fuzzy, warm feelings have vanished.

Trying to find your way back to something which came under heavy criticism from beta readers requires bags of bravery.

Going back to a story which didn’t work the first time but you know you have to try again is challenging.

Finding your way back to a project which got a lot of rejections is character building. There are a few projects of mine which have been rejected and are now burning holes in my writing folders.

I ADMIRE all the writers out there who find their way back to projects, which were rejected, criticised, hated, broken or faulty and either improve them or turn them into something better. You are my heroes.

So, how do you master the art of finding your way back to a project?

You must hold a deep belief in your story.

No matter what happens you have to be your story’s biggest fan and you will do whatever it takes to get it out there.

To me, this is similar to the act of getting married. You must commit to your story and think, ‘in sickness and in health.’ I think this has been one of my issues. My belief in my stories wavers and I struggle to return to them.

You must be prepared to change, modify, cut up and hurt your story. Finding you way back to a project knowing you need to delete characters, hack the plot to pieces and reorder the timeline is HARD! Oh my goodness, I am welling up at the thought.

You also have to wrestle with your ego as it will be telling you all sorts of unwanted stuff.

You must be willing to accept writing success is all about playing the long game. Your story might not work now, but in twelve months time when you have grown as a writer, distanced yourself from it AND found your way back, it might set the world on fire!

Have you ever had to find your way back to a project?

Keep writing x

Photo by Clément M. on Unsplash

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

18 thoughts on “Writing Success & The Art of Finding Your Way Back to Your Projects #MondayBlogs #Writers

  1. Yes Yes Yes!
    I totally agree Lucy!
    I think firm belief in your story is what you need to have, that way you can find your way back to it, and make changes, still knowing the essence of what you love is still in there.
    Kinda going through this now…

  2. Every time. I go on a rollercoaster of thing ‘yep, nailed it!’ To ‘this is a heap of possum’s poo-poos’ with everything. What keeps me at is is a belief that the story deserves being freed into the wild, running with the Amazon pack, hunting out reviewers who might fall in love with it. You can’t arrange a marriage for you book. You need them to find their life partners on their own. They deserve it after all.

    1. Oh boy this comment makes me get a little emotional, love the whole story running with the Amazon pack idea and not arranging a marriage for it. What a start to a Monday!

  3. As I’m due to start on probably the eighth or ninth redraft of a novel I started 12 years ago, Lucy, I have a lot of empathy with this post. I’ll see you on the other side…

  4. I started a novel in 2008. I went back and tinkered with it every year, and it was only last year that I really saw the wood for the trees.

    And it’s coming out later this year so that level of jiggery pokery can clearly pay off!

  5. Holy crap. Finding your way back. So. Much. Yes. This is what writers (me) have to do. I’m not sure which reason I actually suffer from. Perhaps losing faith in my abilities? Certainly a lack of time and/or management of it.

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