Sunday, November 16, 2014

Revising a Book and Writing a Book at the Same Time

The confession behind this blog: Read here.  

I had a horribly unproductive three weeks. They were filled with the paralysis of "Too Much to Do!! Where Do I Start?"

And let me back up briefly--I don't believe in Writer's Block. It's sort of why I don't believe in pacifiers either. I always feel there's a REAL reason behind not writing, just as I believe there's a REAL reason for a baby crying.

Find the reason and you'll start to write again.
Find the reason and you'll stop the baby crying.

The thing is, you need patience for both. You may not have written or revised for weeks (me!). And yes, the baby may be crying for hours (been there!).

In both situations, I truly feel what's happening is happening because we haven't figured out what is wrong (yet).

After all, there are so many "wrongs" to choose from:

Why is the story not working?
-Bad motivations?
-Wrong setting?
-Ineffective villain?
-Lukewarm romance?
-Stuttered pacing?

Why is the baby criying?
-He/she feels your anger/annoyance and is all the more distressed?

And so I allowed myself (with a hefty side of guilt) to figure out what was going on. I percolated as my story percolated.

The story was in disorganized chaos and I didn't know exactly how to fix it.

And then...NaNoWriMo started. And a collaborative writing project began. And a slew of November promotions began...and I needed product for those promotions, a la I needed to tweak my covers and the stories' innards.

The above busy-ness led to this window one day:

What organized chaos looks like on a Mac Air

What you're looking at up there are:

a) the four book covers for the series I'm ending in December. I have them all up to make sure their covers are as consistent as can be. Fonts, feel, colors, shading.

b) Scrivener with my revisions of His Favorite Distraction up. This is the story that's going live December 13. 

c) a Word document with my NaNoWriMo story up. (It is 14,500 words strong--I have a personal deadline of 12/30 to finish Draft 1.)

d) my Facebook banner because I need to refresh it from when I last refreshed it (September 15, when my second Bad Mom book came out).

What's not shown: My collaborative project. That's in a state of outlines and secret Pinterest boards and secret Facebook groups with my collaborators. I'm the one starting the story, so I have 200 words on it--my part is due this Friday to the group (1200 words).

What organized chaos feels like
This has led to me being a bit tired. But I'm always tired. I'm a mom. And I have a (consistently) paying job, too (teaching online college English).

What organized chaos leads to
But I did get to go out and have some Writer Time at Barnes & Noble (it occurred one Saturday after a four-month hiatus--and my laptop died two hours in, making me sad, oh so sad). I always pay a B&N tax by buying a skinny vanilla latte and a banana. How I savored that Writer Time and Writer Time Coffee!

What cute but ineffective stickering looks like
As I worked on chipping away at writing, revising, and promoing, I would put stickers on my notes. Because my heroine is an assistive robotics engineer, I have, yes, robots. I'm oh-so-clever like that.

But don't worry. I remembered to enjoy the wonderful things in life. Such as this guy:

The good stuff is right here

And this walk in, literally, my backyard:

A Veterans Day walk that was lovely and everything
And in case you're wondering what a crazed but happy writer looks like, look no further:

What organized chaos manifests itself as
So yes, I pushed through the inertia. I loaded myself down until I had nothing else to do BUT take a step forward. And then another one. And then another.

And then the momentum was built and I was making progress on all fronts.

Anyone else had too much to do and it made you be MORE productive?

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