Edits & Michelangelo

I ducked into my editing cave last week to wrap up initial edits on my current WIP, and they're done! I'm really excited with how it turned out. Hopefully, my betas will be too.

The mix of being in editing mode and hearing the recent papal news coming out of Italy made me think of Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. (Yes, my brain makes strange connections. It's part of the whole 'wild imagination' thing.)

Michelangelo's story is pretty legendary. It even has its own aptly-named movie, The Agony and The Ecstasy. Here's a quick recap:

  • It took him four years to complete (And that's only the ceiling. It apparently took another five-to-six to finish the altar wall.)
  • Before he ever put brush to ceiling, he had to envision the entire layout
  • Depending on the description you prefer, he either worked on his back or standing with his head tilted up - either way, not too comfortable
  • He worked an estimated eight hours a day, six days a week, without stopping
  • Due to various political or health dynamics with his patron, he was never sure if his work would bring him pay
  • He wrote a poem about how miserable the work could become sometimes

Check out this cool virtual tour!

Talk about dedication. His masterpiece has lasted 500 years! And you know what?

I kind of get it.

I get why he kept coming back despite the aches and frustrations and slow progress. I get why he loved it, why he poured his heart and soul and everything into it, because I feel the same way about writing. It's a passion, and sometimes it's just that simple.


  1. Congratulations on being done! I (hopefully) only have another week in my cave.

    I agree, it is the passion for the craft that keeps us moving forward. We are like sharks, we must keep moving or we will die.

  2. Congratulations! I'm sure your beta readers will looooove it :D

    You're right - it is that simple :) Passion makes us carry on even when it's the hardest thing to do.

  3. Yay!! Glad you're done with edits.

    And, yeah, that's dedication to a project! All that work on the chapel with no guarantee of compensation...sounds so familiar.

  4. The Agony and the Ecstasy was a very good movie. And I think just that title perfectly describes how I feel about the writing process. :)

  5. If Mikey can do it, so can you!

    Neat facts about Michelangelo.

  6. The passion helps us endure. Awesome post!

  7. Yay on the edits. It is often painful, but like Michelangelo, I love what I do. So I keep going back.

  8. Congrats on the edits! If you've got that passion it doesn't go away. You'll keep going back even when it feels miserable... but those sweet moments make it worth it!

  9. He had perseverance, that's for sure. I totally get why he did it too. He's so talented.

  10. Wow, that's dedication, especially when he wasn't sure he would be paid. Yep, that sounds familiar.

    Congrats on your edits, Nicole. :D

  11. This is a great example of dedication and perseverance, Nicole. I have been inspired to keep moving forward. Thanks. :)

  12. Nicole, this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you! And congrats on finishing your edits! That's awesome!

  13. Jenn - Love the sharks analogy! ;)

    Miss Cole - Thanks. And to quote a wise baseball coach, "Of course it's hard, that's what makes it great."

    L.G. - Me too!

    Alex - You bet. :)

    Sarah - I watched it once a while back. It was pretty good.

    Mark - Haha - thanks.

    Christine - It surely does.

    M - Exactly!

    Nick - Yup. Gotta love those moments.

    Miranda - I agree!

    Stina - Thanks.

    Linda - Happy to pass on the inspiration.

    Leigh - Oh, I'm so glad. :) And you are very welcome.

  14. Great riff on stick-to-it-ive-ness. How exiting to send your new baby out to betas. Good luck. If this was theatre I'd say break a leg. Break a pen?

  15. Woot woot on your edits being done!

  16. Congrats on getting the edits done! And Michelangelo would definitely have to be passionate and dedicated to work like he did.

  17. Amen, Sister Nicole, amen and I think old Mikey would agree with you, too.

    PS.. is that white smoke coming up from behind your shoulder :)

  18. totally get it! must finish the puzzle and see the final picture! unfinished is unfulfilled!
    great analogy!

  19. Eloquently said, Nicole. Hey, Mikey ... he likes it! :)

  20. Awesome! Writing and painting are both hard work, but the person doing the creating, can't stop. I've written stories since I was young and could not imagine my life without it. I can definitely understand how our creative outlets can make us crazy and miserable sometimes. In those times, you have to remember how happy and fulfilled it makes you feel the rest of the time.

  21. Wow. Great comparison. Writing is like that, huh?

  22. Congrats on finishing your edits! It's certainly not all fun and games, but passion and determination that keeps us going. Like the line from A League of Their Own: if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Great comparison. :)