darkemeralds: DarkEm self portrait in magenta cowl, left profile, against a black wall (Default)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
"Writers, you need this book."

That was the tweet from my friend Sue last Monday morning. Ordinarily, "Yeah, yeah, whatever" would be my response, because I have never gotten anything of out of books for writers.



I'd done a whole ritual thing the previous night, officially hanging up my keyboard and admitting defeat. I'm not a writer. I have all the free time in the world and I still don't write. I'm a fake, and it's time to quit kidding myself. Restraint is never going to get revised or submitted, and I don't have another novel in me.

It was supposed to be a relief, but it wasn't. It felt funny. I didn't like it. I went to bed saying, "Okay, Universe, you're gonna have to talk louder because I am not getting the message."

So when I woke Monday morning to find Sue's tweet, I heard the Universe talking. I clicked the link. I bought the audiobook version--right there, still lying in bed. I started listening to it on Monday afternoon.

Tuesday I put in four hours of solid revising. Ringer off, social media shut down, timer going. Via another tweet (on my 15-minute lunch break), I found a professional editor.

Wednesday, five hours. I heard back from the editor.

Thursday, nine hours. I hit the 30% mark in my revisions. I sent a sample to the editor. We struck a deal. I have a deadline.

Friday, Saturday, yesterday, today: I get up, I get dressed, I put on makeup, and I go to this new job of mine. I start at 1:00 pm sharp. I don't check my email, I don't look at my phone, I don't do chores. I write. Sometimes I come back after dinner and put in a couple more hours.

I've finished revising 26 chapters in a week.



It's like a fucking miracle.

Writers, you need this book.

Date: 2014-06-10 11:29 am (UTC)
panisdead: (Default)
From: [personal profile] panisdead
...I'm buying that book out of sheer curiosity. Holy crap.

Date: 2014-06-10 01:14 pm (UTC)
executrix: (aletheia)
From: [personal profile] executrix
I am so happy for you! That is wonderful!

Date: 2014-06-10 02:48 pm (UTC)
linaerys: (Default)
From: [personal profile] linaerys
Wow. That is fantastic. I will definitely look at it.

Dressing for Dinner in the Jungle

Date: 2014-06-10 03:07 pm (UTC)
executrix: (writerscode)
From: [personal profile] executrix
John Updike used to get up every morning, put on a suit and tie, go to his office (in the basement of his house), take off the suit and tie, and sit down to write in his underwear.

Today I'm wearing actual clothes, but a lot of the time, I hit the office in my pajamas, which however have a strong resemblance to actual clothes (eg sweatpants and t-shirts).

Re: Dressing for Dinner in the Jungle

Date: 2014-06-10 03:09 pm (UTC)
linaerys: (Default)
From: [personal profile] linaerys
Hahah, that's awesome.

I like putting on real clothes of some sort to write, especially edit. Makes me take myself more seriously.

Re: Dressing for Dinner in the Jungle

Date: 2014-06-11 02:27 am (UTC)
executrix: (art crawl)
From: [personal profile] executrix
Your mileage varies, but in that case I'd get some nice double-track curtains (closed for underwear writing, open otherwise). Like the Saki story where the prince unusually opted for pigs and no flowers.

Date: 2014-06-11 02:43 am (UTC)
linaerys: (Default)
From: [personal profile] linaerys
I just read Film Crit Hulk's screenwriting 101 book, and it is the best book on integrating theme, narrative, character and drama that I've ever read. I plan to make a post about it on my writing blog. It's lit a fire under me for re-outlining one of my novel-length projects.

Which is a recommendation to you, of course. (I have no interest in screenwriting, but its points about storytelling are universal.) But also, a reason why I may not read your recommendation for a little while. We can only have our butts kicked by one thing at a time.

I'm glad you found your right thing and the right time! I have coincidentally found mine for this moment as well and its a great feeling.

Date: 2014-06-10 04:50 pm (UTC)
donutsweeper: (Default)
From: [personal profile] donutsweeper
That's awesome! Congrats on accomplishing so much!

OH, I have to tell you. Outside the bookstore a few days ago I ran into a cute little older couple who were locking up their bicycles. His is blue and named Ellie the Elephant and hers is brown and named Clyde the Clydesdale. When they retired in 1981 they sold their car and bought the bikes and have never turned back, although they admit to making their "kids" (who are apparently in their 60s) drive them on errands in the winter if the weather is bad. :)

Date: 2014-06-11 06:05 am (UTC)
lyr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lyr
Wow! That's awesome; I'm glad to hear that it helped so much. Congratulations!

Date: 2014-06-11 01:15 pm (UTC)
ruric: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ruric
Go you with the editing and thank you for the book ref, I may have ordered it today!

Date: 2014-06-11 04:40 pm (UTC)
ranunculus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ranunculus
Sounds like you were very ready to find inspiration, and that you found the right inspiration.
I like your point about wanting some structure in your life now that work isn't there to impose it.

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