I often hear it said that a WIP is like nurturing and having a baby. Recently, a single friend of mine was talking about the trials and tribulations she was having with her boyfriend. Though I'm married, I could completely relate because of my current relationship -- my manuscript.
Here's the DTR (define the relationship) breakdown for you.
Out of nowhere, an idea pops into my head. It is charming, alluring and I find myself chasing it around trying to know more.
THE HONEYMOON PERIOD
After I've decided to commit time and effort to this MAN-uscript, I can't spend enough time on it. Everything we do together is pure gold! When I'm at the grocery store, I find myself thing about it, jotting down little notes. It consumes my every waking thought and I find myself neglecting friends, family, and chores for my writing dates.
THE UGLY TRUTH
Now that I've obsessed about things, the realities start to seep in. Plot holes, character flaws, and vastness of the commitment in front of me. My MAN-uscript is not shaping up to the perfect ideals I had envisioned in my mind. So I try to force it to change, to become what I want, but it resists and we fight. Sometimes I give it the silent treatment for days because I've started to hate it, just a little bit. Replaying those first chapters we had together, they aren't as magical as I remembered them.
The excitement is gone and it's not long before a new hot idea catches my eye. I tell my MAN-uscript that we need to take a break while I explore my options. Even though I have fun playing around with the new, the old tickles along the edges of my brain and I can't get it out of my head. All the possibilities we had, did I just throw them all away?
Now I have decided that I'm not ready to discard all the hard work I put into this relationship and I tentatively dip a toe back in. The huge problems I thought we had don't seem so bad anymore. I see our past with new eyes, deciding to let the MAN-uscript be what it needs to be. I push it to be the best it can, but know and accept that it will never reach perfection. Instead of hating the WIP for what it isn't, I need to work on my own skills so that I can improve.
PDA (public displays of affection)
Now it's time to share my love affair with the world. Some people won't get it, they'll mock or laugh. Outsiders will point out every pimple and line. However, some will connect the story to their own lives and feel something. It's always scary to be judged on the things that come directly from my heart, but in the end, I know the only thing that matters is the love and growth I shared with my MAN-uscript.