The highs and lows of writing

Sealed with a Christmas KissThere’s no doubt that writing is a roller coaster ride: it’s great when your writing is going well and people enjoy it, and it’s not so great when you get stuck in a rut with it or face rejection and criticism.

Recently in the #WhatImWriting linky Maddy wrote a good post on 10 ways to overcome rejection. This gave me the idea of contacting Rachael Lucas, a lovely lady I first met through blogging and who has now written two bestselling books. Her first book, Sealed with a Kiss was self-published and then snapped up by the publisher PanMacmillan. The sequel novella, Sealed with a Christmas Kiss, has been riding high in the Kindle Top 100 for several weeks now. With her success in mind, I wondered what she finds the highs and lows of writing to be and how she copes with them. Here are a few quick questions I asked her:

1. What do you enjoy most about writing?

I mainly enjoy having written, but I do like the feeling you get when you’re wrapped up in a scene and you don’t notice time passing and your word count shooting up.

2. How did you feel when you signed your book deal?

It took a really long time to sink in, actually. I signed it in a lovely restaurant over lunch with Caroline, my editor, and Amanda, my agent, and it all felt a bit surreal. It didn’t really feel real until I saw the book in print.

3. What are the toughest things about writing?

Finding the discipline needed to write regularly and not leave it (like homework) until the last minute, and then spend three weeks working like a maniac. And developing a thick enough skin to deal with critical reviews (I’d love to say I don’t read mine but I still can’t help looking).

4. Do you have a coping strategy for when things get tough?

I’d like to say meditation, long walks, and being zen. The reality is throwing pizza at the children for dinner, blocking out the sound of the house with whatever writing soundtrack I’ve chosen, and massive procrastinatory house-cleaning sessions. I also tend to escape to the bath or swimming pool when I’m stuck on a scene, and it tends to clear my head.

 

I think whatever level you reach with your writing, there are always challenges to face. Finding support from others (including the brilliant #WhatImWriting linky) is invaluable.

A big thank you to Rachael for answering my nosey questions. You can buy Sealed with a Christmas Kiss on Kindle for 59p. As I mentioned it’s a follow up to Rachael’s first book (which is a cosy, lovely feelgood read) and here’s some more about it:

Kate has taken to life on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor like a seal to water: she’s given a new lease of life to the Laird’s estate in her day job; she’s befriended the once-nosy locals; and even young Laird Roddy is not quite so grumpy these days.

Better still, Kate has just had her best idea yet: they’ll turn the castle into the most gorgeous wedding venue in Scotland. The pressure’s on as the first wedding is booked in for Christmas Eve – just weeks away. But with a mismatched bride and groom, a hysterical PR on her case, her own relationship woes and a huge storm blowing in, can Kate pull it off in time?

You can find Rachael at rachaellucas.com.

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12 thoughts on “The highs and lows of writing

  1. Nicola Young

    I love the answer about coping strategies. I have procrastination down to a fine art I think. It’s so good to hear from other writers and to know that they go through the same things.

  2. Maddy@writingbubble

    Interesting little interview – thanks for sharing. Rachel’s book sounds like it could be the perfect festive read – I might give it a try! Thanks for mentioning my rejection post and for linking to #WhatImWriting. As you say, writing is full of highs and lows but running the linky and getting to know you and others through it has certainly been one of the highs for me. Have a very happy Christmas and new year. xxx

  3. Chrissie

    Brilliant Q&A. Rachael is the one we (maybe just me) look up to when we think about that publishing dream. Procrastination is actually part of the process.

    Isn’t it?

    Support really is invaluable when you’re doing the writing thing. X

  4. Dana

    This is a great interview! Thanks for posting it and I love your comments about how important supportive link ups like these are 🙂 I’m really happy to be part of it!

    Rachel, I really enjoyed reading your responses and I love #4 – I’d like to say meditation too, ha, but it’s more likely to be putting on a show for my kids and neglecting laundry. I also have found some of my worst writing knots come undone in the shower, or in the car when I’m alone. Kids screaming in the backseat isn’t exactly conducive for thinking!

    1. Emily Organ Post author

      Thanks Dana, I agree that the shower is the place I always get my ideas! And there’s nothing to quickly write things down on in the shower! I’ve said before on this blog that someone needs to invent waterproof pens and post it notes : )

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