Riding the Writing Roller Coaster

The roller coaster metaphor has been used many times to describe one’s journey through life. Today I’m using it to describe the writer’s journey; more specifically, the writer’s emotional journey. I’m sure you can relate.

I do most of my writing while my kids are in school.

Some days my kids come off the bus and find mom like this:

This is mom after a stellar day of writing/revising. Maybe a new story idea blossomed? Maybe an agent emailed requesting to see more? Maybe both! Happy, happy, let’s have pancakes for dinner!

Other days, the kids come home to mom acting like this:

This is mom after the above-requesting agent responds with “I’m just not as enthusiastic about the rest of your work.” Order something for dinner. Mom’s going to bed.

Today the kids are a wee bit nervous about stepping off the bus. Perhaps they can sense something’s brewing with mom.

Yup. This is mom after a day of writing ONE sentence. ONE CRUMMY sentence. Hours were spent on the ONE CRUMMY sentence only to be…deleted! Dinner?! You want Dinner?! I’ll give you dinner! Enjoy your kale chips, kids.

For those of you familiar with the Showtime series BILLIONS, I think the writing community could benefit from a Wendy Rhodes of our own. A performance coach/therapist who can talk us through our emotional roller coaster ups and downs. I nominate Marcie Colleen. She knows the biz + she is SUPER HAPPY (see what I did there) and motivating with her FRIDAY DANCE PARTY.

But seriously, pre-published and published writers alike ride this roller coaster of emotion—weekly, daily, sometimes hourly. It’s normal. Enjoy the ups. That makes the downs easier to get through. Just don’t bail for the exit because you think you’re the only one on the ride. Pull that lap bar down, hold on tight, and save a seat for me.


Kim Chaffee is a former elementary school teacher turned picture book writer. She lives in New Hampshire, in the U.S. with her husband, two kids, and two cats. She writes quickie book reviews for parents, teachers, and writers on her blog, 5 Fabulous Things, which can be found on her website www.KimChaffee.com. You can follow her on Twitter @Kim_Chaffee


  1. Love this, Kim! It’s surprising we don’t have to buy dramamine in bulk for all of the up and down riding we do. 🙂
    And I think that’s why it is especially important to have the support of critique buddies, mentors, and friends who can encourage us and provide a shoulder to lean on when the going gets tough and we begin to doubt ourselves. 😉


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