Friday, December 9, 2011

Trust Your Story

Listening to me rave and rant  about the long wait to hear back from agents, that is really stretching my patience to its limits, one writing friend advised me, “ Trust your story.” Faith, trust and belief are words I would associate with spiritual life, I would even use them when I mention friendships and relationships, but not where writing was concerned.

 Later, when I revisited her advice, I realized that she was not wrong. We writers do have to trust our stories, trust it implicitly, that’s why we are able to spend endless amount of time writing and rewriting it and polishing it as close to perfection as possible. It’s this trust that sees us willingly adopt the hardships that come with a writer’s life. Writing is definitely not for the faint- hearted. And querying certainly is not.

The trust does take a beating, when our manuscripts are sent out on several journeys starting with Crit partners and ending with editors. Everyone has a different view about it; starting with how we started the story, whether our characters resonated with the readers, whether our plot gripped the reader and winding down to the resolution. It’s at times like these that the trust takes a huge beating.

Ofcourse I trust my story. I love it to bits. But, there are several people involved who need to trust my story and story-telling ability as much as I trusted it. These are the people who rule the publishing world and make important decisions that a writer’s career hinges on.

It’s this trust that sees me start my next manuscript and again it’s this trust that sees me invest lots of my time in a world that to start with only I believe in.

Has your trust ever wavered in your story? Has your trust in whatever you are doing in life ever meandered away from you? Have you doubted the literary world you have created? How have you regained the trust and faith that has moved away? We all would love to know all about your tryst with trust.

P.S. Here is a  wonderful post by my friend Patrick on How to Create  an E- Book. Click here for Patrick's tutorial.
        
        
       
        

20 comments:

Carole Anne Carr said...

Very good advice, Rachna.

Laura Marcella said...

Oh, sure, my trust wavers sometimes. It think it's normal to have doubts. The important thing is to keep on writing no matter what!

Meera Gupta said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing your thought process and feelings.

SBJones said...

Thank you for the link to my guide.

The first ten chapters of my second book, Guardian, at first seemed unworthy. The first book had done so well and seemed so easy to write and has generated nothing but raves, the second had a lot to live up to. When Guardian was finished, I feel it is far better than the first book.

Kristen said...

I guess we have to trust it whether that trust gets us what we want, i.e. publication, or not. So maybe it's the "what we want" and not the trusting that needs to be adjusted here and there.
I've flirted with this idea: If I never get anything published, if only my kids and crit partners ever read my story, is it worth all the work? Because that's what we're risking.
It's so devastating to think that way.
But if your answer is yes, it is worth all the work, it's not so awful.
And I think it's people who answer yet who have the real success, because you're writing for the joy of it, to master a craft, and not for accolades.
And then I stop thinking so philosophically and say, "Oh crap this really stinks! Why can't someone JUST SAY YES?!!"
Ugh. I feel your pain!

Jim Murdoch said...

That has happened to me twice, in my third and fifth novels. In both I found myself stuck in the middle with no idea where I was going and the answer in both cases was to stop struggling, go away and do something else and return to the novels some time—in both cases, a couple of years—later. I know for a lot of people that’s unthinkable that kind of delay but it needs to be long enough so that you can barely remember what you were writing and you feel like your reading it for the first time. And you read, and you read and the you reach the bit where you thought you were stuck and, in both cases I’ve mentioned, the direction I needed to go was obvious. It wasn’t obvious the first time but then I was a different person then.

Lydia Kang said...

Yes, my trust has wavered. Lots of agent rejections can do that. But I soon I would remember what my betas and I thought about the quality of the story, and I would realize the trust was back. Hang in there, Rachna!

Rachit said...

will surely take note of that :)
Weakest LINK

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Ah, yes, I know the feeling well. Wavering faith. And it usually hits as the project goes off in a submission. But I use your solution, I start something new to take my mind off it. It has also happened to me in the middle of a project, and I've coped with that in various ways: sometimes just slogging through anyway, and not worrying about the writing until I have a finished piece; sometimes, if research is the problem, doing the research; and sometimes, like Jim Murdoch's advice, just taking a long absence from it. It's amazing what you can see when you read it after a long absence.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This has happened to me, but thanks to my CP and beta readers, I bounce back very quickly. :D

Karen Lange said...

That's a great way to look at it! Thanks for sharing this advice. :)

Rahul Bhatia said...

Thanks Rachna for this great post and the self conviction about the story and story telling! Also, the link is worth saving for assistance in all writing endeavors!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Friends..thank you for sharing your individual experiences when trust in our writing skills wavers. I am grateful for all the encouragement and support you all give me.

Tina Jain said...

Love the post, Rachna. I like the idea of trusting our stories. I am glad I found your blog :)

Medeia Sharif said...

I always trust my story, which is why when I receive a crit, as much as I appreciate it and am willing to follow it, I pick and choose the recommended changes since not all apply to my vision. I love how my story changes as I revise based on feedback, but at the same time the heart of the story is always the same. Also, my trust increases as the people in my life encourage me to write on and that my manuscripts just need some TLC (as well as some ruthless cutting, lol).

Julia Hones said...

Rachna, your post is very realistic and resonates with my own doubts. Just when my trust starts to waver, an editor falls in love with one of my stories and decides to publish it. Keep on working and trusting the process. I am convinced it has its own purpose. We are like messengers. We work hard to make it happen. Everything happens at the right time. Trust your story. I wish you all the best in your writing and publishing journey.

Lynda R Young said...

yes, my trust wavers regularly, but when I keep going, I usually find that trust again.

Madeleine said...

Writing is definitely not for the faint- hearted. That is so true. I fluctuate between thinking what I'm writing is great to believing it's rubbish. Great post.

alexia said...

I guess since I've wanted to be a published writer since I was a kid, and am now actually taking serious actions towards that these last couple years, my trust is pretty strong. I don't know WHEN I'll break through and have my success, but I trust that it will happen. It's the 'when' that can make me crazy though.

gargimehra said...

Trust and confidence in our stories is indeed very important else how can we continue on our path to success. I like your ‘tryst with trust’ phrase!