Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting the IWSG! This event came just at the right time for me - I need some support, and I hope you find encouragement in my words.
Forgive me if I've said this before - no, don't (I was told never to apologize for what I write or how I write it. After all, if I think it's worth it, someone's bound to agree). And maybe it's important enough to hear over and over again; it's this: listen to that burning inside your heart before you write.
Don't you remember? The whole reason you started writing in the first place? Right now I'm at a point where I haven't done much writing, even on this blog, for quite a while. I think July of last year was the last time I worked on my MS, or even looked at a proposal and query letter. That's wearing me out.
That voice keeps after me because of it too; you won't get published, especially if you aren't writing. Which is true. The more you put it off, the less likely you are to pick it up again. True again.
But what I need to hear, and I think we all need to hear at some point, is that my (our) goal of publishing was once secondary to crafting the story I HAD to tell. Sure, publishing is generally how people read that story, but my passion to write had nothing to do with writing the perfect query - in fact, that is often a chief source of draining that dream. It has to come sometime, I know, but it's awfully far from storytelling.
So this is my reminder to you, and mostly to myself, that I/we need to remember the deep call of our earliest days. I hope that call can be rediscovered, or can still be heard, and I think it can.
Do you remember how the story came to you? Do you remember how it felt almost independent of yourself, and if you listened hard enough, worked regularly enough, that it continued to come? I do. For months I was up hours before my 8-5, writing on a small desk; I hand wrote my first draft and it was the most fun I had had with a book in a very long time.
I want that again - I'll keep looking, keep listening, will you?