Remember when you realized love and like weren’t interchangeable? That day when you looked at your loved one and truth slammed into your head the way the sky bonked Chicken Little.
You bit your tongue to keep from saying, “I don’t like you. Did I ever really like you, or were my hormones on overdrive when we met, which propelled me to fall in love before I had an opportunity to determine if I liked you or not? I love you— the thought of being without you is unbearable— but I don’t like you and don’t know if I ever will. Really. Like you.”
My experience with wake-up call moments leads to one of two things: either a positive change in the relationship, or a complete severing of ties.
I’ve been wrestling with a new wake-up call for about a month. The specifics of the situation didn’t become clear until the read through of my manuscript was complete. It’s the reason these posts have been next to impossible to write and why I’ve been dragging my fingers away from the keyboard instead of pounding out a riveting synopsis and query. And it has nothing to do with resistance or the fear of rejection.
Wake-up call truth— I’m sick of Kaitlyn and her story.
N-O-T not kidding. Thank you not so much. What am I supposed to do with that? I’ve poured more time and energy into this manuscript than any project. Ever. May have nurtured and protected it more than my children. A horrible thought, and yet, to deny the possibility would be a lie.
And so, accept it I will. But what does this mean? I want to believe it’s a sign that the manuscript is, morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably… finished, as opposed to Wicked Witch dead. Which is exciting news. The kind that calls for ringing the chimes of Victory, but the energy I don’t have. To make matters worse, the read through showed me a problem in the first third of the manuscript, which means sixty pages need to be reevaluated. How am I supposed to proceed when I no longer care about Kaitlyn? All I want is for this project to be over-and-out-done. But it’s not. And it won’t be until the problem sixty is solved and the manuscript is winging its way through the ethers to potential agents.
Is this disinterest normal? Do all published authors go through this? I’ve never heard anyone mention it. All they ever talk about is how much the story means to them, that it feels like one of their “children” and they miss them. Okay fine, I said that too, right after I completed the last round of revisions and sent it to my editor. But I’m so beyond over it now, I can’t believe it was a thing. How do I move forward when my heart is no longer in it?
Yowza!— maybe that’s a good thing. The hardest part about revising a manuscript is killing your darlings. The longer you live with a manuscript the tougher it gets. My darlings held on like cockroaches. Then I came across this wisdom from author/editor Kathryn Craft, and they finally landed in the circular file.
If a reader can understand the story without one of its scenes, it isn’t needed.
I’m still unhappy to have fallen out of love and like with my heroine and her story. But my hope is this pulsating disinterest will rise with a fury and make it easier to slay the final cockroach darlings from the manuscript. If this turns out to be true, perhaps I won’t need to sever all ties. Perhaps, my relationship with Kaitlyn will transform into a beautiful friendship.