Saturday, August 29, 2015

Me, Sisyphus, and Editing

Editing! Argghh. Just when I think I'm done, I look over the work and realize I started my previous edits while I was legally blind. (I'm not) But that's what it feels like to encounter so many mistakes and start all over. Page sixty seems to be my crest of the hill of one hundred and ninety-three pages. If I could just get past that point. 
My problem is I'll read a really good book, and think my own weak prose sounds nothing in comparison. Or I'll pick up a book on writing, and realize my scenes aren't doing anything to advance the novel. They were just visions I loved. I have to beat them in shape or let them go. So A change begets a change that begets a change that begets a fresh new batch of mistakes that begets more editing. All that rock pushing. 
But I see the solution. Stop reading good books and books about writing. Well I think that's the answer. What do you say Sisyphus?

Author on:


Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Unemployed Writer

I've recently become unemployed from my day job. Or night job in my case. The questions from co-workers lucky enough to have kept their jobs was, "What are you going to do? Are you looking for work?" I'd mumble something like, "Yeah I'm looking, not sure, perhaps soon, blah blah blah." But then I realize I was about to live a dream, I'd been wishing would come true. The ability to write full time was about to come true. So no, I was not to become unemployed at all. I had a job waiting for me. I just had to make it pay. Yay! or Yay?

I have I been actively writing everyday since June 30? No. I had to take a moment to mourn the loss ... of a decent paycheck and benefits and even an identity. A new routine had to be established. I had to give myself a new title. I was no longer "Service Delivery Level Tech I." I now can say I'm a "writer!" Yay! or Yay? 

Now that writing is my job and I want to go from having one sale a day to having dozens I have to establish a new routine. Working nights at my previous job often meant I slept late in the day, even on days off. It meant I was sometimes depressed and exhausted. It meant my off were for resting and idling the day away.  But now I'm revived and energized. Here's the action plan for the new career as a writer.
1. Get out of vacation mode. No time for idle driving and shopping (no money either)
2. Get up early
3. Hit the books for reading
4. Hit the keyboard for writing and editing
5. Have fresh eyes for new and old work
6. Enjoy the process! 
So has all of this been yay! or yay? Well I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned that all of those moments when I feigned exhaustion and tiredness,  I was just being lazy. There's no day job boogey man to hide behind and blame for my lack of writing. Or my lack of reading. The internet is as distracting as ever. The bed sometimes still holds me until almost noon. The house isn't that much cleaner, and the belly isn't that much flatter. So now is the time for this good man to stop kidding himself. Get to work!

What does the future hold? I don't know. I fight off images of myself living under a bridge. I feel more guilty about not giving that homeless person a dollar. Gee that could be me one day. 

Enjoy these Amazon freebies!

How I Got Over
No Satisfaction
When Dogs Bark
We Are Here

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Writer's Digest Conference

I had an enjoyable time at the Writer's Digest 2015 Conference. It was a pleasure to be in the company of so many writers and to listen to such dynamic and inspirational speakers like Jacqueline Woodson and Jonathan Maberry. And of course the icing on the cake was being in New York. That place is the writer's prompts heaven in my opinion. 
There was an enormous amount of book offerings. But one gem off the table was this book by Donald Maass, The Breakout Novelist--How To Craft Novels That Stand Out And Sell. I was and am in the process of editing a book. However when I picked up the before-mentioned book and started reading a few chapters, a light went off in my head. There's a lot of work to do on my own book. The Breakout Novelist is not so much a hand holding how-to book, but a very excellent guide post. 
It is a good idea for all of us struggling novelists to read about writing and to read as much as possible about writing.

I would like to see for next year, maybe a few longer sessions focused on the mechanics of social media, or have some sessions run just a tad longer. 
If you were an attendee, what are your thoughts on the conference?