Janet Sumner Johnson
About Author Visits Blog Books Events Contact Book Extras

When Things Aren’t Roses and Kittens

Mar 03, 2014 Uncategorized 8 comments

So I’ve been revising . . . revising a work that I have revised A LOT. And I want to tell you something:

It has been hard.

I’ve spent a lot of time just staring at the screen, begging my characters to do something, because I had no idea what should happen next. I have spent a lot of time not staring at the screen, lost in deep, deep thought as I’ve reconsidered, oh, pretty much every scene. And then reconsidered it all again.

And mixed in there, there’s been a bit of typing, babysteps of progress, and slowly, slowly I’m getting through.

I’ve asked my husband more than once, “Why do I like this again?” Because in those moments when the plot feels impossible, and the characters feel flat . . . things can seem a bit bleak.

But then I came across this quote from Muhammad Ali:

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit.
Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”

-Muhammad Ali

True champions push through the hard times. They don’t stop just because things aren’t roses and kittens all the time. True champions realize that the reward is greater than the pain.

I will never get one of those belts with the ginormous gold buckle on it. And I may never even get a publishing contract for this book. But when I finish, when I get to that point . . . I will be a champion.

Because I was stronger than the doubts and the fears that tried to hold me back.

What are you battling against right now?


8 Responses to “When Things Aren’t Roses and Kittens”

  1. Oh my gosh, Janet, I am in the exact same boat. I'm on something like a 50th draft of a book I've now been working on for 3 years. I have asked the questions of why. I have hated the book only to fall in love again (and hate again and love, etc etc) This is taking a lot of discipline. Sometimes it physically hurts to keep going. LOL. We will get through, I hope.

  2. but…but…but…I WANT the kittens and roses.

    Maybe not at the same time, because those kittens might just eat my roses….

  3. I hate begging. That hopeless feeling that comes along with it is like a noose. The more we wiggle the tighter it becomes. I feel your paint and completely understand it. But you've chosen a great quote. True words to live by…

  4. Revising can sometime be REALLY hard, especially revising toward an unknown goal. Editorial revisions from someone who has already bought your book and you just have to satisfy what they want — that is hard enough. But a Revise & Resubmit, where you're not sure if you're going to reach whatever nebulous idea the uncommitted agent/editor wants … that is even harder.

    However, I have never completed such a revision without feeling that I had accomplished something worthwhile and learned A TON … even if the book did not afterwards get sold.

  5. I hear you. It can be so hard to revise a piece yet again. Sometimes it helps to get a completely fresh set of eyes to beta read. Sometimes you just have to highlight bits that aren't quite working and let those problems simmer in the subconscious mind for a while. Hang in there, friend!

  6. Great quote. Right now I'm battling with finding the time to do everything I need to do. And with not getting distracted by frivolous things like Facebook!

  7. There is something about going through the sweat and pain that makes the final product all the more sweet!

  8. Marcia says:

    I'm revising right now, too. I'm pleased with how it's going — but it's going LONG. Everything always takes so much LONGER than I estimate!

Leave a Reply