I think both songs might be about doing drugs. Or maybe about spiritual awakening. Whether it’s Tom Petty or Pink Floyd, you prefer, both sets of lyrics also apply to life as a writer.
The thrill of telling a story, and the rare awe of telling one well, is addictive. It’s so addictive that we’re able to endure “Coming down is the hardest thing.” Rejections. Poor reviews. Our own debilitating self doubts. We live swinging from heaven to earth as we try again and again to take flight and not come crashing down.
Some examples of my own falls:
Can’t please everyone: I have plenty of rejection letters, some aren’t even full pages. More like a half page. That was a tough one. Couldn’t even warrant a full sheet of paper. At least one reviewer panned not one but two of my books. (Ouch.)
Mistakes, mistakes: I’ve spelled an agent’s name wrong in a query. One who I met and got a request for a partial from AND triple checked that I hadn’t spelled it wrong! (Say it isn’t so!) I’ve switched the homonym write for right in a query letter to an editor. (Oh, duh, duh, duh.) And, my most embarassing mistake, I accidentally had a scene that technically contained necrophilia. (NOOOOO!)
Throwing in the towel: At one point, about a year ago, after reading Twilight, I had a total author meltdown, took down my website, stopped submitting my then current manuscript and almost hung up my spurs. Thankfully, it only took a month off to gain new, invaluable perspective on this dream of mine.
Back to the drawing board: I created a website no one went to. I started a free interactive community that the free site started charging for and since I had no one really in it, I ditched it. I wrote two full manuscripts that will never sell because I can honestly say there is no way I am up to working the stink out of them.
And all of that is okay. And so are your moments that do and will fall under these and other categories. We are not supposed to be perfect. One day, we will all gracefully soar in our careers, appearing to others as knowledgeable experts seasoned in our genre. They won’t see the bumps and bruises and scars because they’ll have healed. They won’t know when we crash beak first into a tree because we’ll have learned how to pick ourselves up, dust off, laugh over it and move on.