Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Meet my friend, Gina Conroy
The Five Stages of Writing Grief
by Gina Conroy
Receiving a writing rejection can feel as if a part of your dream has died. After one such rejection last summer, I realized I was going through the stages of writing grief.
When I was first told by my mentor that I should scrap my 50,000 word WIP and start over, I was in SHOCK and DENIAL. I was being asked to delete six months of my writing life! I was paralyzed for an entire weekend. I couldn't think, let alone apply any of the great teaching my mentor gave me to my current WIP which was technically dead to me at the moment.
After the excitement and the adrenaline of the weekend wore off I went through a mixture of ANGER and BARGAINING and DEPRESSION. I don't remember the anger stage being strong, but depression was incapacitating at times! I couldn't write or even read. What was the point! My story was dead, and I wasn't about to try and read someone else's story while I was grieving.
Then came the bargaining. Maybe, just maybe I could salvage the WIP. So I tried writing my historical romance in first person. I only got 113 words written before depression set in again, and I realized it was useless. If I turned my WIP into women's fiction as my mentor suggested, it would be a totally different story with a different feel and plot. Which was okay, but something I didn't have the energy to do. After all, I was still grieving.
So I started revisiting an old idea, close to my heart that I'd been afraid to write. First, I reread the 7 pages, the only pages I'd written. My heart was stirred. I felt new life coming back into my soul. So I read it again, and edited just a few lines and added a few more. Could I do this?
Then I sent it out to some trustworthy friends for confirmation that I should be working on this story. And they concurred. I should run with this one. Now, over a year later, I'm almost finished with the first draft, and I’m glad I allowed new life to flow into this story.
Where are you in your writing? Are you grieving?
Sometimes if we identify the loss, it makes it easier to move on!
Gina Conroy is president and founder of Writer...Interrupted where she mentors busy writers. Knowing how difficult it is to raise a family as well as a career, she chronicles her triumphs and trials on Defying Gravity, hoping to encourage those on a similar path. She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, releases from Barbour Publishing in January 2012. Gina loves to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter
In Buried Deception in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection Mount Vernon archaeology intern and widow Samantha Steele wants to provide for her children without assistance from anyone. Security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter is haunted by his past and keeps his heart guarded. But when they discover an artifact at Mount Vernon is a fake, Nick and Samantha need to work together, set aside their stubbornness, and rely on each other or the results could be deadly. Will Samantha relinquish her control to a man she hardly knows? Can Nick learn to trust again? And will they both allow God to excavate their hearts so they can find new love?