Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Acting Like a Writer


The way my head feels right now.  Photo by Freedigitalphoto

I totally forgot to do a blog post for today.  I remembered yesterday morning, when the power went out for two hours.  I remembered Sunday night when I was up until one o’clock, editing.  I just forgot yesterday, when I could enter a post.
Yes, it was the editing again.  I wanted to finish the third draft yesterday, and when the power went out, I fell behind.  Once the power came back on, all I thought about was getting the d%*n thing done.  Twelve o’clock rolled around, I finally finished editing (Yay!) and I realized I didn’t have a post to schedule. I also realized I needed to go to bed so I could get up at and go to work this morning.

All that backstory comes down to a desperate need to get something together.  I’m writing this at work.  Shhhh – don’t tell anyone.  Since editing has been the only thing on my mind for the last month and a half, I’ll talk a bit about it, and then let you go, if you’ve made it through my rambling beginning!
I’m not going to talk about the mechanics of editing, since so many of you have been there before and can run circles around me with your processes.  No, it’s the completion of my editing that I thought about yesterday.
I can not believe I have finished my second and third drafts in a month and a half.  For the last two years I have bemoaned the fact that I go to work, and have kids, and how the heck can I compete with people who write for a living.  I’ve complained that I am a slow writer, and it takes me forever to write even 500 words.  I’ve felt pleased when I write for half-an-hour without interruption.  I guess I’m pretty whiney, when it comes down to it.
And then I finished my second and third drafts in a month and a half.  I carved out two hours a day to write.  While I did the minimum on the rest of my goals and responsibilities, I disproved all my whininess.
I sat down, figured out what it took to get my stuff together, and then did it.  I acted like a writer.
Did I have support.  You bet – and I am so grateful to Kelley for double checking that I actually made sense in the manuscript, my husband for being wonderfully supportive, and my Mom for watching my kids an extra day on the weekends so I could focus on getting my manuscript finished.
Would I want to do this all the time?  No!  My house is a wreck.  My kids are celebrating that they’ll get their mom back tonight. (I still have some things to tweak, but I plan on doing it all after they go to bed.)  I’ve gained three pounds.  My husband is thrilled he can concentrate on his classwork again.  My social media time came to a standstill, and my comments and page views show it.  I’m excited I might get to go to bed at ten o’clock again.
But now I know.  I won’t be able to whine anymore.  I’m a writer. I just have to act like it.
Have you ever surprised yourself with your accomplishments?  What lessons have you learned that help you be a successful writer.

22 comments:

  1. You go girl! You deserve a break! I actually impressed myself with how quick I did my first draft. The second half of my novel took me about four months. I loved it. Now my editing is taking long, but you've inspired me to pick up the pace. :)

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    1. Thanks, Nicole! I have to admit part of the reason the second and third drafts didn't take so long is because I took a year to write the first,and I didn't have to change a lot, story wise. However, since it's my first novel, who knows how good all of it is. I'm proud of it though :) I was impressed with how quickly you finished your first draft too!

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  2. Congrats, chica. Finishing the first draft is big, but for me it was a tainted win because I knew the product wasn't that good. Once I finished with the edits, I finally felt really accomplished. Like, hey, this is something I can actually show people. Good for you for sticking with it.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I was just like you. I felt good my first draft was finally done, but I knew there was so much still to do. :)

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  3. Finished the draft and edited! That's an accomplishment, big time. You are lucky you have the support at home. That is a big deal. I think we are all entitled to whine occasionally - isn't that part of the process? Now that you are done this one, you will be even better at it the second time around!

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    1. Yeah, I suppose a little whining is expected with life, in general. I know I am so fortunate, in many areas of my life, not just with the support I have for writing. :)

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  4. Lara, I'm so proud of you for sticking to it!

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    1. Thank you, Jenny! That's a mighty fine picture of you and James Rollins on your blog, by the way!

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    1. I feel better, knowing I'm in good company. ;)

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  6. Glad to hear you've made the trek to being a writer. It's a long road, and your journey isn't over. Keep at it, Lara!

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    1. Thank you, Emily! I appreciate the encouragement. There always is more to do, learn and create, huh?

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  7. Yay! Good for you! You just described my life by the way. It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. If you think about it, us moms and/or household maintainers are able to multitask in so many other areas, why not add writing into the mix? It's a great feeling.

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    1. I'm glad you mentioned about getting things done by putting your mind to it (them?). I wrote the post, and then worried that it sounded all wrong. Really, all I was so amazed at was that I did something I hadn't thought I could. Multi-tasking is a good skill to have!

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  8. Wow, so many times I've surprised myself as a writer. I started out writing because I wanted to emulate Johanna Lindsey, the romance writer whose work I've loved forever. I wound up sounding like me! It's surprising and magical how that happens, but in time, it does. Now, for the first time in my writing life I'm not just writing books because I want to, I am writing my next three books on a contract for a publisher. It's amazing and frightning, but I've managed many other goals I've set out to accomplish. So I'm determined to do this too. Best lesson in all of this? They say Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a writing career. It takes time, hard work and dedication.

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    1. Congratulations with your contract and making goals! I think your so right about hard work and dedication to grow a writing career. I'm on the starting end, and have lots to look forward to, but I think it's going to be a fun journey!

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  9. Lara, your writing is brilliant girl! I'm SO, SO excited you let me take a sneak peak :) :)

    It is hard to fit in being a writer and good for you for making it happen. Keep up the good work girl! Can't wait to finish your story :)

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    1. You're so sweet! I realized I spelled your name wrong, by the way -so I'm sorry :( Your encouragement bolsters my confidence to get the thing submitted somewhere!

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  10. Very proud you did it! I'm still working on my first draft. Much easier to write than to work through the revisions. After this week, I'll have a regular schedule. Well, as normal as it can be for writing and revision work.

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    1. Thanks, Stacy! I know you're going to blaze through edits and be submitting in no time!

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  11. Totally inspiring!! And movitvating! (per your blog's goal!)

    You go!

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    1. Thanks, Nina! I accomplished something else, then!

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