Posts Tagged ‘revision’
Yesterday was my birthday and coincidentally the first day in March that all of my boys were in school at the same time. We have the pleasure of spring breaks that NEVER fall at the same time in our house. *head thunk* Yup–I’ll have a grand total of FOUR days in March that are kid free. And while I love my kids and really enjoy all the fun things we do while their home. And while I enjoy NOT getting up at the crack of dawn for the 12yo–me and 5:30 am have a hate/hate relationship. And even though I have managed to find ways to get a decent amount of writing work done around them–the truth is I also love my alone time.
So, back to the birthday. I had a zillion good wishes yesterday. Thank you everyone. And one of the things that many people said to me was…Do something special on your birthday! And because I was revising (I AM ALMOST DONE!!!!) Other people suggested…Don’t forget to take a break from revisions and do something special! Now I’ll be the first one to tell you, there are points in the writing process where I’ve seen way too much of whatever it is I am working on and a break from it would be a little slice of heaven. But yesterday, after nineteen days of having other people in my writing space, spending the day with just my manuscript was the special thing I got to do. And realizing it made me smile because I was reminded of what a gift I’ve been given–the knowledge to do what I love and to love what I do.
When do you love writing the most? What makes writing special for you?
Back in the revision fort!
Yesterday I spent most of my time working on my newly returned notes on THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY from my critique partners. Woo hoo! And here are some random thoughts that have popped into my head now that I’m delving back into the story…
* I love critique partners who not only tell me that I spelled something wrong or that I abused a semi-colon, but also give me a running commentary of what they’re thinking. It is so much fun and so helpful to see how their thought process unfolds as they interact with my words. This is true when you hear an OMG! I didn’t see that coming but it was awesome! It’s also just as valuable when I get an Ummmm I have no idea what’s going on here???? Both of these are helpful and needed.
*After a couple weeks with my MS on the back burner, I love it again. Phew! Honestly, by the time I’d passed it off to my friends, I was pretty sick of it and convinced, that while it was vastly better than it was before, it was still poo.
No, I don’t mean that kind of Pooh.
Writers, when you look at something for too long–it begins to look like poo. And then you have to learn to walk away from the poo, because when you’re knee deep in the poo, you can not get perspective. Don’t be afraid to pass the poo to a friend. That’s what friends are for (In the writing world or if you’re a mom with a new infant) And usually, what you get back (book or baby) is never quite as bad as what you thought you gave away. Your brain needed a break and now it’s working again.
*Speaking of the brain, it’s incredible how it will not see your mistakes no matter how many times you look at your own words. Your brain can do weird and wonderful things. To prove my point…
Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen’t mttaer, the olny thnig thta’s iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crcreot ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy.
It blows me away and sort of scares me how easy it was for me to read that.
*I still growl or moan when I’m made aware of a plot hole or an inconstancy, even if I know it’s absolutely true. I tackle it, but it comes with sound effects. *head thunk*
*I really dig writing metaphors. I need to make this a component in the conference proposal I’m working on. One of my favorite parts of the writing process.
*I can get so engrossed in the revisions that I forget to write my blog post until almost midnight. *yawn* But because I want to get back to working on it (with a fresh mind) I’d better stop having random thoughts and get my butt to bed.
Any words or wisdom or bits of insight from your revision fort?
And don’t forget, there is still a chance to win a signed copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE for your local or school library. Enter HERE!
Recently I’ve been knee deep in revision, doing some critiques for friends, and answering some writerly questions at a bookstore event. The collision of these processes has gotten me thinking and I’ve come to the conclusion that we writers are never as good as we think we are. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s hard to see the forrest through the trees. We get so immersed in the manuscript we’re working on that we lose all sense of perspective. We forget that just because we are turning around our best work, doesn’t mean it’s THE BEST WORK. And sometimes it also means that our best isn’t yet good enough in the publication competition. This is a very hard lesson to digest.
As I look back through all the phases of my writing journey, focusing on the times when I was ready, I realize that these moments were often more about me feeling ready than the work being ready. Sometimes I’d exhausted my capabilities, other times I was so freaking sick of the story I couldn’t look at it another minute. Sometimes there were deadlines. Other times I thought it was perfect. Silly me–perfect does not exist. I lacked objectivity. Often I still do. But that is not always a bad thing. Publishing is a tough business. It pays to have a little hubris mixed in with our neuroticism. It gives us the courage to keep going in the face of great odds.But that only works if we also have the ability to take criticism and use it constructively. I’m aware that everyone is wired a little differently, and what works for one, doesn’t always work for another, but here’s my takeaway…
I need criticism–it’s the platform that I use to plant my feet and push off of. Now, no–I’m not talking about the critique your crazy Aunt Myrtle gives you, that comes with her suggestions acted our in front of the family at the holiday get together when she hasn’t even read your book. I’m also not talking about the vicious review that says your kids are doomed to a life of hell because you, dear sucky author, are unfortunately their mother. That kind of feed back doesn’t count. I’m talking about the level headed stuff. Writer friends, agents, authors, editors, teachers, passionate readers. I’m talking about thoughtful advice. I repeat. I am never as good of a writer as I think I am and that feedback helps me. I know this is true because I look at what my book and manuscripts were like before I used the feedback and I look at what my writing was like after the feedback. Big surprise (NOT!) 99% of the time the work is ALWAYS better after the feedback.
So, on your quest for writing perfection, I urge you to be a sponge. Absorb all the universe has to offer you, then take the best and forget the rest. And here’s the thing about writers never being as good as they think they are. It works the other way too–sometimes, the writers who are ready, are also never as good as they think they are–they’re better. My guess is it’s because they learned today’s lesson too well–you can always get better with hard work and effort.
How do you deal with feedback on your writing? Do you cry and then wrap your mind around it later? Does it not even ruffle your feathers? Does it sting quick like a Band-Aid, but you get over it super quick? Do you avoid it at all costs? Yell and tantrum at the person foolish enough to try to help you? Does it depend on the day?
I’m going to make this as streamlined as I possibly can because it’s 10:00pm on my last cleanse day and even the cat food is starting to look really good. LOL! The sooner I go to bed the sooner I wake up to the world of normal eating. And although I’m talking about the cleanse, it’s not the cleanse itself that has made me behind tonight. I just hit the SEND button. The revised manuscript for THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY is in the hands of my critters!!!! This means it’s not long now until my agent has it in her hands. I’m thrilled and scared–a typical author reaction to just about everything in the publishing process.
So, obviously I’ve been cleansing AND revising, which has made me realize that both of these things are really quite similar. Both are actions that do a deep cleaning in order to arrive at a better version of the current product. I could wax poetic about all the weird connections but honestly I’d rather go drink some organic veggie broth. But since a lot of you have asked about the cleanse I thought I’d give a a few quick tips and take aways from the experience.
First of all, I used a 9 Day Isagenix Cleanse. I’ve used it before to good results. My last cleanse was probably close to two years ago. I decided to do one now because I had gotten to a place where I NEEDED to do this to feel better. I always know when I need to do it because this isn’t the kind of thing I enjoy doing, even though I enjoy the end result. If you’d like to find out more about it, I have a friend who is involved with the program. You can contact Stephanie HERE.
If you plan on doing this or any other cleanse, here’s a few tips I’ve come up with that are helpful…
*Wean yourself off of caffeine slowly before the cleanse. I don’t do a lot of caffeine and I had almost a 2 day headache and I think it was possibly from sugar withdrawal. Help yourself out by cutting back on at least some stuff incrementally.
*Go into the cleanse with the odds stacked in your favor. I timed the cleanse so I wasn’t doing it on a holiday or ski trip. I also put myself out publicly, which works for me. Making public declarations helps me to have that group mentality and it works. I also gave myself a sort of mantra to think about. I didn’t have a specific phrase, but I concentrated on mind over matter. I wanted to feel that I was driving my own ship. I also wanted to feel healthy again. I also thought about skinny people I really don’t like and used them as motivation. *grin*
*Specifically for Isagenix–after the first day and a half–I couldn’t stomach the chocolate wafers used on cleanse days. I couldn’t do another one. I opted for a teaspoon of sliced almonds and a half an apple or some organic veggie broth. Seriously, I will never eat another wafer again. Ever. Be a little flexible. I also added fresh and frozen organic fruits and veggies to my shake on the five shake days. I had no dessert all the way up until right before the last two cleanse days. I was dying for a piece of chocolate, so I had a few squares of organic 85% Green and Blacks chocolate. It helped me to not be overwhelmed by that craving during the last two days. Flexibility is cool as long as it’s not sabotage.
*On cleanse days I found that varying the temperature and flavors of my liquids helped a lot. In the mornings I put hot water with lemon in a thermal cup to sip. In the evening I used the organic veggie broth because dinner was the hardest for me to skip. I was both physically hungry and emotionally hungry at that point in the day.
*On cleanse days I rested if I needed to and if I felt good, I walked for 60 minutes (15 min mile) This was hard for me because I’m a runner and I hate toning things down, but I also knew that I’d burn through my energy too quick and probably make myself so hungry I’d cheat. The walking worked out really well and on the shake days I did my usual.
Time for the take aways:
I lost 6.66 lbs over the nine days and my BMI dropped by 1.7 Woo hoo!!! I lost weight and inches and my clothes are fitting very differently–I no longer feel like a sausage in a casing. Overall, I feel great and I also feel VERY un-stuck. Now I’m very vested in not wasting all this effort by binging now that I’m done. I’ve shown myself what I’m capable of doing–normal, healthy eating, by comparison, should be a breeze. Seeing and feeling results is very motivating so even though I won’t be doing another cleanse any time soon–I am really glad I did it.
Are you revising and/or cleansing? Any questions about either? I’m too tired and hungry to think of more questions–add your own.
I am so excited. *fist pump* I’m almost done with my revision of THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY and I’m confident I’ll be turning it over to my crit partners this week!!!! I’ll be tweaking and tinkering some more while my critters do their magic, then I’ll have to turn around their suggestions. But even with that left on my plate, I’m up over the hump of this monster. I feel really, really good right now and I try to never ignore those little moments of success. *Woo Hoo!* Those highs are what gives me momentum to get back up the other side when I hit the next hump in the publication process.
And though putting myself out there–the waiting and risk of failure is hard–you know that I’m a girl who gets excited about possibility. The idea of getting this book back into the hands of my agent gives me tingles.
These are some of my favorite P words besides pizza and plethora. My little book is growing up and getting ready to go out into the world. *grin* This makes me very happy. A little nervous, but very, very happy.
Where are you in your writing process or in any big life project you’re working on? Do you like roller coasters? Are you able to celebrate each individual hump that you rise above? And do you scream on the way down????
I wanted to talk to you a little bit about revision today. I’ve got some RANDOM thoughts that have been marinating and I thought I’d share them with you…
*Right now, revision is a blast because I’m in the slay-the-monster-zone. The only thing stopping me from having a kick-ass, completed, manuscript to send out to my agent, is the fact that I’m a rather slow monster slayer. LOL! Even so, it’s a fabulous feeling and I’m really enjoying it. I’m pulling out my laptop every chance I get. (Have revision fort, will travel.) Even though things are going great, I’m prone to self examination, so I’ve been wondering…Why is this section of the writing process one of my favorites?
I think it’s because it consists of 50% structure and 50% intuition. I’m not in a place where I’m just doing the brain-numbing task of fighting with my horrible spelling and grammar. I gleefully have more than the bones of the story down on paper. My rough drafts, riddled with their own issues, are a full story. This means I don’t have to work in the place where I have ALL the ideas in the world. That can be overwhelming. Right now I’m walking the line between being creative AND doing the nuts and bolts work. It’s a really good balance for me. Of course, it always helps that there’s a light at the end of my tunnel to guide me home.
*Lately I’ve heard a lot of words bandied around–procrastination, fear and writer’s block. These are words I’ve used from time to time. In fact I pull them out at at regularly scheduled intervals in my writing process LOL! We all do. But as I’ve been pondering the joy of revision, I’ve realized that there is something to be said for revising my process as well as my manuscripts. Sure, I can write volumes about how and why my second book has gotten away from me during the process of being a debut author. I can talk to you about my emotional writing style and why I approach writing the way I do. I’ve got a zillion fabulous posts in me about these topics. You’ll likely even get a few of them from time to time, but I’m a growing girl. (No, I’m not gonna get taller than 5 foot 4 inches–no matter what I write.) What I mean is, if I open myself up to it, I’ll learn to revise myself, the same way I do my words.
K.L. Going once said to me...you can’t put a book on the shelf if you don’t put it on paper. It’s not a book if it is in your head–it’s an idea. That was a big turning point for me. But I’m also coming to realize that I need to expand upon that nugget of truth. What will I be doing the minute I put THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY in the hands of my agent? I’ll be working on CHASING ADAPTATION! It’s not just enough to get the book on paper, it’s important to understand what role procrastination, fear and writer’s block play in that process. They can be speed bumps or they can be excuses. They can be challenges to overcome or they can be blog posts that keep a writer from doing the real work. You know what I choose. I am discovering where and when to push myself to be the writer I want to be.
*This next thought is going to sound counter productive to my last one, but if you were paying attention you know that balance is important. I just suggested that it’s necessary for me to push myself harder through the parts of the writing and revising that are naturally hard for me. It’s true. It resonates. I believe it. But I’m also suggesting that an important part of revision is what I think of as The Feel. It reminds me of my son at his music lessons. As he’s learning the guitar, his instructor doesn’t want him to look at his fingers while he’s playing. He needs to know where his fingers are supposed to go. Playing has a feel. I had a very similar experience when I learned how to type. I spent lots of time looking at my fingers in the beginning, not believing that I’d ever be able to stop doing that. Then one day I realized I could hit those keys without thinking about where they were. Writing and revision are like that. They have a feel. You DO have to push yourself to show up when the work is hard. You DO have to understand you won’t always be comfortable in the different phases of this process. But you also shouldn’t be trying to push a square peg into a round hole. No one benefits from that. Not the peg. Not the hole. Writing is art–there are parts that have to be felt to be done “right.”
*Agents and editors have special-super-hero-vision and can see a manuscript in ways that I can’t even begin to comprehend. They have a whole different skill set than I do, which means I want them to pull my manuscript apart. Their work is a pivotal step in the process of changing a manuscript (a solitary endeavor) into a book (a collaborative event.) BUT, even though I want my agent and my editor to pull my words apart, in order to get to an even better version of my story, I still need to bring my very best work to the table. Maybe it’s just me, but I liken the revision process to shopping for a very awesome birthday present for a friend. Sending out a completed manuscript is like giving a gift that is well thought out, nicely wrapped, usable, exciting and timeless. Sure, it’s about me too–a good book is going to benefit me as much as the agent and the editor, but when I’m working on the revision, I find myself having a sense of intimacy with my first new readers and that makes the process really wonderful for me.
*Or there are times when you’re revising and it feels like a you’re wrestling a giant octopus. Just ask my friend Amy. But hey, the cool part about that is you can wear those tentacle burns like a badge of honor when your done. *fist pump* So, what I guess I’m saying is that revision is awesome…even when it isn’t.
Any thoughts on revision? What do you love? What do you hate? Have you ever eaten octopus? I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m off to the revision fort!
I made my self-imposed deadline of getting the first half of THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY off to my Beta’s last night. (Chapters 1-22)Woo hop!!!! I was doing great on time, when Scrivener decided it didn’t want to compile and convert to Word. So needless to say, the last email was sent at 11:58. *head thunk* I could have been to bed a lot earlier if it hadn’t been for technical difficulties. But I did it, which felt very important, but in order to meet that deadline, I went to bed without writing this post. Which means it isn’t brilliant and full of puppies farting rainbows and unicorns, but hopefully the manuscript is–which in the grand scheme of things is much more important.
Of course, since I’m DEEP in revision mode, all I want to do all day is revise. And today is not the easiest day for doing that. I have the rescheduled hair appointment from Wednesday’s snow day and since I look like a Yeti–we can’t miss that. I’m also going away skiing this weekend and while I love these trips, I seriously hate packing. Maybe it’s the three boy thing, but I always feel a my excitement doesn’t truly get started until I’m in the car LOL! These are all good things, but how do I keep and sustain the BOOM on for this revision when I have other things to do.
*Stolen moments–they add up. I know this because when I started writing TOUCHING THE SURFACE my boys were ages 2, 4, and 6. I had nothing but stolen moments.
*Mullet time–this is my term for writing and working in my head. I find brain farting on the computer labor intensive. Some people put their butt in their chair and work out their issues with their fingers. I’ve never really done that. My fingers are sooooo slow compared to my ability to flip things around in my head. I’ve learned that mullet time means nothing if I don’t take the stolen moments to get what’s now in my head on paper, but I’ve also learned that when I sit down to write after thinking things through, my time is a lot more productive.
*I use music. I know without a doubt that I’m in the BOOM ZONE when I can’t listen to an audiobook. And I LOVE listening to audiobooks. But when I’m in the BOOM ZONE I can only listen to one thing–my playlist for that manuscript. I might add or take away songs as the MS develops, but in essence it is the soundtrack for my mullet time which really helps me make the most of my stolen moments.
And while this has been fun, I really have a million things to do LOL! So I’ll leave you with a random song off THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY playlist…
How do you make the writing happen when you’re in the BOOM ZONE? And what is the Tropic of Sir Galahad? Anyone?
And that folks is how it happens. BOOM! One day I’m trucking along and–well–that’s a lie I wasn’t really trucking along–it was more like trudging. So–day after day I’m trudging along–really slogging through my revisions. Of course I do this with a little happy smile on my face. I distinctly remember making a broad statement about loving revision so much more than drafting. *head thunk* Yup I love it, yet I keep finding myself trudging and slogging and wondering why it feels like I’m trying to push a square peg through a round hole. Yeah. Just. Like. That. And I get about 200 pages into the revision (that is full of trudging and slogging) and I get really tired. Not from the writing. Mostly because I stayed up too late watching The Biggest Loser. Don’t judge me–it’s motivating. Now it’s trudging, slogging, tipping. Yawn. (And just so you know–my brain never fully shuts off during a mid-day tip, so it doesn’t really count as a nap. I call it a brain storming session, okay?) But I digress. I’m at the point where the fixes to the MS aren’t as easy as the earlier ones and I dump 3 chapters. Just like that. And in honor of all that trudging and slogging or maybe because of it–I seriously just highlight that sucker and hit cut. I know I have another copy somewhere–dear god I hope I do. I mean in an emergency my agent has it, right? Anyway, back on task. I cut those chapters because I know I need new material. And that’s a good thing, but gosh darn it, since I’m a slow reviser with a crappy memory for detail, I don’t even remember all the changes I’ve made up until this point. How do I know if I’m making this puppy behave or if he’s just going to a different corner to pee on the floor and make another mess when I’m not looking?
Are you following me? Probably not–but just pretend because that’s what I was doing while I was revising–just going through the motions. Fake it till you make it. BIC or BOC (Butt on couch. It’s softer.) I need to get my bearing so I can move forward. I need to find my puppy! So, I back it up just a chapter or two and start reading. Then suddenly…
I repeat. BOOM! I don’t know how else to explain it. The world shifts from black and white to color. The puzzle pieces fall into place. The baby starts sleeping through the night. I don’t know why it happens, but suddenly there’s no longer trudging or slogging. My brain is firing on all cylinders. All the lights are shining on my Christmas tree. I’m tapping into something. And I want to weep for the sheer joy of knowing that I hadn’t imagined that a place like this really does exist. I HAVE been here before! I do know how to write a damn book and make it progressively better.
That’s the only way I can describe it. It feels insane, but maybe that’s because it IS insane. The act of writing is a product of dedication, hard work, persistence and a whole bunch of other SAT words. It’s showing up when you’re trudging and slogging and not sure you’re really an author. But the magic of writing–the BOOM–that’s a very different thing. That’s something bizzare, like observing a puppy in the corner, ready to pee and then he doesn’t–instead, he farts rainbows and unicorns.
Seriously, it’s just like that.
And I’ll be honest, I don’t know how long the magic puppy farts will stay. They seem to have their own agenda, but that’s the beauty of intermittent reinforcement. Once you know the unicorns and rainbows are out there–you can’t stop sniffing puppy butts. You just trudge and slog and tip while breathing in deeply and hoping.
I could wax poetic about this for hours, but I need to wrap this up–wouldn’t if be awful if I blew all my magic on the sheer awesomeness of this post. (Come on–you know you loved it.) Okay, you loved the puppy pics–same difference. LOL! Off to revise!
PS–I only have one question. Have YOU smelled the puppy farts?
PPS–When I tip later today it was totally because I stayed up late to write this post. It has nothing to do with The Biggest Looser. Besides–I’m a winner. Just go ask the unicorns.
Yesterday I was keeping my promise to myself and focusing on revisions. I even hauled my laptop and marked-up manuscript to the lobby of the dance studio. I was kinda pumped because I was able to focus and move through my notes while sitting in the middle of three classrooms that were blaring different sets of music and instructions. I was in the zone. How could that be? There have been days when I’ve had the perfect work conditions and get less done. *head thunk* I sound like I’m asking for an answer from you, but I’m not. I know the truth. For me its a combination of being ready and being determined.
READINESS: The truth is there are times when I just don’t know what to write. And for some of those times, it’s good for me to take a moment or two or however long it is, to mull over what I’m doing. I know I need to let the thoughts that sit in my finger tips, tumble around in my deeper places. I believe there is more to me than I’m capable of understanding and sometimes I just have to trust myself. I’m learning and changing and growing constantly and all of that takes time. But in all fairness, there are moments when I’m just scared that I suck and I think I’m not ready. Book 2 is kinda hard folks. It’s not unlovable, but it’s kind of like the second time you get pregnant and you realize it’s not going to be anything like the first time where you got to sleep when you were tired and people pampered you and stuff. Book 2 is like…Hey–I know you’re tired but you have a two year old with a fever and you need to get up every 45 minutes because they are crying and uncomfortable. And I know you have a sensitive stomach right now, but the baby just vomited across six rooms. And to top that all off, don’t expect a baby shower either or time for a spa day… Yeah, Book 2 is kind of like that, but different. Word vomit is a little milder on the stomach. LOL!
DETERMINATION: I’m absolutely a person who loves to work from home with my own schedule–I like my creative freedom. I like to be able to juggle my family life. I like to run. I like to have less stress. I like to avoid laundry by doing social media. BUT–I benefit from having some manageable deadlines. The people pleaser in me responds to that. Give me too much, too quickly and I will get it done (I’m one determined and competitive person on the inside) but I’ll be reduced to sludge. I’ll burn out like a shooting star. I’m not a race horse who responds well to spurs in my side, but lead me to the starting line and tell me that I’m not as good as the other horses and I’ll run my ass off to prove it isn’t true. There is a kernel of strength within me that gets me over that finish line. I need a little push, but not a beating. That’s when determination works best for me.
So what happens when readiness and determination collide in a perfect storm? Well, I get stuff done. I mean–I’m still scared. I’m pissing in my shoes every time I stop to think about it all too closely. BOOK 2!!!!!! Failure is such a bigger target than success. But I’m at that point where I know one thing for sure. There is something that scares me more than writing a bad book–it’s writing no book at all. It’s that simple and THAT just makes me laugh and revise. Ready and determined.
“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
Now I’m totally inspired for another day of revisions!!! What calms your fear of failure? What gets in your head and keeps you from moving forward? What’s your best overcoming failure story? Got another good failure/success quote to share? Have you been pregnant a second time????
For years I’ve been hearing people talk about NaNoWriMo –National Novel Writing Month. From November 1st until November 30th, participants set a goal of writing a 50,000 word novel. I’ll admit it, part of this has always intrigued me, but it has also scared the crap out of me and because of that, I’ve never seriously toyed with the idea of participating. I’ve had a list as long as my arm of reasons I could not participate and this year the excuses have grown with TOUCHING THE SURFACE coming out on October 30th. Just so you know where I’m coming from, I’ll share the highlights from that list with you…
*I HAVE THE BOOK LAUNCH OF MY DEBUT NOVEL!!!!!
*I’m working on revisions for book #2
*My local dance recital (I teach and dance) takes place in November.
*I am a painfully slow writer who struggles through first drafts.
*I never get enough sleep.
*I’m still recovering from all the work we’ve done on the house.
*I have three boys ages 7,9 and 11 who participate in lots of activities and need help with their homework regularly.
*I like to run several times a week for a sanity break.
*I’m a procrastinator.
So, it’s obvious that I’m not going to be able to do NaNoWriMo this year…WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY I REGISTERED ON SATURDAY AND I’M SIGNING UP TODAY!!!!!
Ha! Bet you didn’t see that one coming. *grin* Yes, I know that I’m insane. Now let me tell you why I’m going to be giving this a shot…
*First of all–I’m going to be doing this because the SCBWI–particularly my Hudson Valley Shop Talk Members ROCK! Lisa Koosis, one of my local writer buds gave a guest presentation at my local Shop Talk and she got me sooooo excited to break out of my box and give this a try. She told me a million things to make me want to give it a go, but the three that stuck out the most were…
1. It’s just supposed to be fun.
2. Even if you don’t finish, you’ve probably done more than you would have without participating.
3. You can discover unexpected things about yourself.
As Lisa talked and I got a bunch of fluttery tingles in my belly–usually a sign that I’ve eaten something bad or I’m excited–I started to think about why I might want to participate in this event.
*I HAVE THE BOOK LAUNCH OF MY DEBUT NOVEL!!!!! And as exciting as this is–I’m scared. There I’ve said it. It’s exciting AND scary. (There will be a spin off blog post on this later) But I suddenly realized that it might be a really good thing for me to have a reason to step away from the madness. It’s a full circle thing–when a book is born, perhaps the best way to celebrate is to write something new. So…I think that it might be very healthy to have a reason to unglue my eyes from reviews and Amazon’s Author Central.
*I’m working on revisions for book #2. I love revision–it’s easily one of my favorite parts of the writing process. The story is there, it just has to be manipulated. I don’t know how long that process will take me, but I know that when it’s over, there will be the typical wave of fear and insecurity about having to write another first draft again. What if I can sneak in a part or all of a first draft while I’m revising? This idea intrigues me. I’ve been marinating ideas for book 3 for quite a while, but I don’t feel “ready” to tackle it yet. But what if I trick myself into thinking that NaNoWriMo is nothing more than hard-core stretching and training for the writer in me. What if I give myself permission to take a crack at this rough draft under the guise that it isn’t “real writing”–its an activity, an event, a journey.
*My local dance recital (I teach and dance) takes place in November. Yeah–and how many hours is that out of my life? Not enough to use it as an excuse. The truth is that I have days when I’m drafting, where I have six hours to sit and write and there are days when I squeeze in 45 minutes while the boys are at jujitsu. Not always, but often, I’ve managed to write the same amount of words on both of those days. Perhaps this is about FOCUS.
*Thanksgiving. I do not host Thanksgiving at my home. I spend the day eating and socializing. I watch the parade and I do kicks in my living room along with the Rockettes on TV. I can squeeze this in or I can double up on another day. Using this excuse makes me a turkey.
*I am a painfully slow writer who struggles through first drafts. At least this is how I think of myself. I have a system for writing and I like it–it works for me. The only time I really have trouble with it is when the other members of the Wolf Pack whip off manuscripts in sick amounts of time. It makes me queasy and insecure even though intellectually I know better. But what if I can do things a little differently. When I’m investing myself in a book I revert to wanting to attack it in a familiar method–one I’ve had success with. But this is a little like tricking myself into doing something different. What if shouldn’t be the gateway to potential failure–it should be a question that makes us want to try.
*I never get enough sleep. But I watch TV. I mean–not crazy amounts–but I make choices. It’s only for a month, right?
*I’m still recovering from all the work we’ve done on the house. But I still have a month to put things to rights and realistically, everything I clean is always going to get dirty again…dishes, laundry, kids. By the time I start, I’ll be much more organized than I have been in awhile. So I just have to make that effort to stay on top of daily chores so that I don’t go under physically or emotionally.
*I have three boys ages 7,9 and 11 who participate in lots of activities and need help with their homework regularly. I’m going to have three busy boys from now until forever. I started writing SURFACE when they were 2, 4 and 6 years old. I have no recollection of when I actually did that–but I must have. LOL! Besides, soccer ends mid-month, there is break after the recital and we do have a Thanksgiving break. Plus–they support me. And my lovely hubby has been traveling a lot which means I have no excuses.
*I like to run several times a week for a sanity break. No reason to stop. I write in my head when I run anyway. I let my subconscious take the lead when my feet are in a rhythm. No need to change that–it might help me get my words out faster when I sit down.
*I blog. Ha! I’m sure it’s going to give me lots to blog about.
*I’m a procrastinator. Sometimes, but not always…
Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? Completed it? Liked it? Loved it? Hated it? Have you been avoiding it like me? Secretly long to try? Have a great excuse for not playing? Tell how you NaNoWriMo or NaNoNoGo.