Like Days This

Juan Gris - Portrait of Pablo Picasso - Google Art Project

“The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning.” – Anne Tyler

This like days?
Like this days?
Days like this?

Words on the page in the right order

Sometimes

You cannot get.

This is those days one of.

When I have trouble putting words on the page in the right order… I still write something.

There are days when it feels like every word I write is the most pedestrian pablum ever put paper. Gustave Courbet - Le Désespéré

Sometimes, alas, that’s true.

Even so, I write on those days.

Because there are times when I come back the next day, and the words on the page are perfectly fine. Either elves came in the middle of the night and took out my bad words, replacing them with shiny new ones instead, or what I wrote wasn’t that bad. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is write my daily stint and then…

Wait for it…

Let it go.Alphonse Mucha - Job Cigarettes 1

Walk away from the keyboard. No, playing bubble shooter does not count as a break. Back off.

Go pull a weed.

Clean the kitchen.

Go out to dinner with a friend.

Take a walk in a forest.

Let my hair down

The Danger of Being Yourself

…in the hierarchy of importance, pretty stands several rungs down from happy, is way below healthy, and if done as a penance, or an obligation, can be so far away from independent that you may have to squint really hard to see it in the haze.
You Don’t Have To Be Pretty

Put a true picture of my actual self on my Twitter profile.

Hot air ballon chick 01

This is what happens when you search for ‘Hot Chicks’ on Wikimedia Commons.

Lost four followers.

Coincidence? I think not. Maybe I should have googled ‘Hawt Babes’ and stolen synergistically leveraged one of their pictures for my profile.

Seriously, that is something you risk when you put yourself out there for all the world to see. They might not like you. Then again, they might. You can’t tell beforehand.

It’s probably good practice for my book being published. Not everyone will like it.

Things to do today:

  1. Write 2000 words in my new manuscript.
  2. Refrain from checking Twitter followers!
  3. Watch Julia Quinn’s speech from RWA 15.

7 Stages of ‘Done’

Writing in 1830Stage 1: When I wrote the first draft, I thought I was done with the story.

I mean, it was perfect, right?

Then I came back to it after a few weeks and decided that I had only two choices: delete this complete waste of kilobytes or rewrite it.

Stage 2: After the second draft, I knew I needed to come back and look at the story again, but it was almost done. Like Kubler-Ross and her stages of grief, I was bargaining by this point. I wanted to believe that ‘good enough’ was acceptable.

Stage 3: After the polish draft, I reached a stage where I couldn’t look at the manuscript any longer. I could not tell if it was good or bad, I just know I couldn’t rewrite it any longer. So I called that done and sent it off.

Stages 4-6: After I received the revision notes, I had to revise several chapters. Back to the old routine, but with new material: first revision, second revision, polish revision.

And today it went back to the editor.

Stage 7: Write the next story.

Albert Anker Schreibendes Mädchen 1902

“All right, Mr. de Mille, I’m ready for my close up.”

I should probably make a confession. IMG_1515

That headshot of a kitten?

Not what I really look like.

It seems that authors need to promote themselves, not just their books. So when my local chapter of the Romance Writers of America offered a photo shoot opportunity, with professional hair, makeup, and photography, I decided to go for it.

I had my hair done, then makeup was applied. Finally, a photographer put me under the spotlight and Took My Picture. Argh.

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Um… I wasn’t argh-ing the photographer or the make up and hair stylists. All were very professional. But I HATE HAVING MY PICTURE TAKEN. Plus, it was about 90 degrees outside, and with all the bright lights in the room it was hotter than that inside. And makeup always makes my eyes turn bloodshot, which is not my favorite look. I kept the Visine handy.

This is a necessary part of my transition from a hermit, who sits in her cave typing up words that no one has ever read, and an author, who wants people to read her book. So it’s something I’m going to have to get used to. Eventually.

Maybe I should try channeling my inner Drama Queen.

Things I Accomplished Today

Sad Clown - Occupy Wall St

  1. Wrote 2000 words in my new story.
  2. Read blogs by talented, funny, charming authors.
  3. Drank several cups of coffee.
  4. Revised a couple more chapters in the story I’m editing.
  5. Read Twitter.
  6. Re-read the email about winning the contest that I Cannot Mention.
  7. Sketched out a revised outline for a totally different story that’s sitting on the Rewrite bench.
  8. Did everything on my To Do list.
  9. Did anything on my To Do list.
  10. Wrote a blog post.

In a situation like this, there’s only one thing to do. Get the heck out of here. I’m going to go find me a Starbucks, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and revise some more chapters.  And then I’m going to come back here and update this post with a report of my success. That way, I will have to get it done.

Yes, I am using you. Shamelessly.

Update: Two more chapters revised. At least I got something done today.