I love my job…but…I hate starting to write.
Not because I hate writing, but because I am constantly trying to overcome my fear.
Most of the time I approach writing with a knot in my stomach, a distracted buzzing in my brain, and dread in my heart.
And yet, most days, I force myself to write. Most days I really enjoy it once I get into some kind of flow. Almost always, I end up feeling better for having done it.
My favorite Dorothy Parker quote is, “I hate writing, I love having written.”
It’s nice to know I’m not alone.
But you’d think, after all this time, the process would get easier. Instead it feels harder with the added pressure of trying to meet the expectations of readers.
Writing this post is a form of procrastination. It allows me to feel productive, when really I’m just avoiding writing new chapters. I guess that means I should go write now.
Or maybe I’ll take a nap…a nap might help.
Or maybe I’ll go for a walk…a walk could help.
Or maybe I’ll make some more coffee…coffee helps.
**I’m not JUST complaining today. I’m finishing up the copy edits for ONE WOMAN’S JUNK and later I’ll actually be adding words to Hitwoman 21…just no guarantees they’ll be “good” words. 😉
I’ve printed out the manuscript for ONE WOMAN’S JUNK in preparation to make the (hopefully) last pass of story edits.
I’ve put the pages in my big, shiny binder (after somehow massacring the job I did of three-hole-punching) and have started scribbling on them.
((Hmmm, the photo makes it look like sand, which is fitting for a book that’s set in a beach town, but in person it’s more like gold glitter.)
This is my process…gold glitter binder, paper and purple ink. Also hot pink Post-It notes with random questions and the occassional index card meant to remind me of why I’m doing what I’m doing.
I’d planned on taking the lot to my favorite coffee shop to work on, but it’s been raining for hours, so I stayed home and worked at my desk, where my view could only be described as dreary.
Also appropriate considering the book begins on a stormy night…..
There’s a lot to like about living in Florida, but the brutal summer heat isn’t one of them.
The heat index was over 100 degrees multiple days this first official week of summer, so basically if you hear someone calling weakly, “I’m melting” there’s a good chance it’s me.
But it rained last night for hours and knocked the temperature down, which meant that this morning’s walk was comfortable and it’s still cool enough that I’m able to sit outside while I do some work.
Considering that spending time outside is a high priority for me, this makes today a good day.
It doesn’t take much to make a day a “good” day for me.
Yesterday was a good day too because I had a sense of accomplishment after spending a significant part of the day and most of the night (until bedtime) working on story edits for ONE WOMAN’S JUNK. The edits aren’t anywhere near done, but I felt like I made significant progress and I’m no longer in the “I’ll never be able to fix this” mindset that I had been battling.
(It probably helped that I wore ridiculous pants….one can’t take oneself too seriously if you’re wearing something like this.)
I’ve earned a day off from the edits, so today my creative focus will just be on writing. I’m excited to dive back into the 21st Hitwoman book, which I’ve been working on pretty steadily (more progress!).
I’ll also spend some time on the screenplay which is my “pure fun” writing project.
So those are three things that make a day “good” for me: time spent outdoors, progress, and creative work.
What sort of things make a good day for YOU?
I’m jealous of my writer friends who work on one project at a time.
I can’t do that. I have way too many ideas.
In order to manage my insanity, I’ve decided to only work on three writing projects per day.
- Working on story edits for One Woman’s Junk.
- Writing the first draft of Hitwoman 21.
- Writing a screenplay, which we can call Monsters. (This is my “fun” project and I’m trying to limit myself to only working on it for about 15 -20 minutes per day.)
There are at least three other projects I’d like to be dabbling with, but I’ve got deadlines I’m striving to meet on One Woman’s Junk and Hitwoman 21, so they’re my highest priority.
I’m also trying an experiment where I’m tracking, in this little notebook, how much time I spend on each project and WHEN I work on them
After only a few days this is providing some interesting data that may cause me to revamp my workday schedule. More on that at another time.
I was commiserating with a writer friend earlier about how difficult it is to wait for developmental story edits.
We were discussing how our minds play tricks on us as we wait.
For example, I’m ALWAYS convinced my editor is going to tell me that what I’ve come up with is absolutely awful and I should quit this writing game immediately.
Every. Single Time.
Because of this, right now I’m thinking the ONE WOMAN’S JUNK will not be the first in my Psychic Consignment Mysteries series. Instead, it will be the last book I ever wrote.
Which makes it harder to write the current book I’m working on — the next book in the CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN series.
It’s a nasty cycle.
But I’m plugging along on Hitwoman 21 and keeping my fingers crossed that One Woman’s Junk is SLIGHTLY better than I’m thinking.
Wish me sanity!
I have “deadline hangover” which basically means I’m creatively spent and having trouble stringing complete sentences together.
But I’m thrilled to report that I’ve sent my new book, One Woman’s Junk to my developmental story editor!
I’ll be explaining more about why these items were important to my creative process as we get closer to the release date.
With any luck, this first book in my Psychic Consignment Mystery series, featuring the Concordia sisters, will be released in August.
The rest of the series is already sketched out, but the next book I write will be Hitwoman 21.
But first I’m taking a couple of days off. I’m going to indulge in the reward of watching the adaptation of GOOD OMENS. I love the book and I’ve only heard good things about the show.
I recently completed a month-long challenge to try to learn to draw.
I knew I wasn’t going to be good at it, but I figured I’d give it a try since I thought that thinking differently would be good for my brain.
I felt compelled to share my efforts daily on Instagram — like the universe was pretty much screaming, “Put it out there!” kind of compelled.
I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to “put it out there” when I know I’m going to fail. It’s uncomfortable. It’s embarrassing.
But one of the things I dislike about social media is the way people only show the best sides of themselves, so I followed the calling and put 30 days worth of sketches out there.
I’d love to tell you that I became a great artist. That didn’t happen and I don’t know that any amount of practice could help me become one. My brain just doesn’t work that way.
What did happen though, was that I became a less judgmental of myself. I found it easier to focus on the process, rather than the end result.
I’ve really used that lesson as I developed my new Psychic Consignment Mystery series. I did what “felt fun” rather than worrying about what the “shoulds” were.
I can’t wait for you to read it! Make sure to sign up for my newsletter to find out when it comes out.
In the meantime, if you need a good laugh feel free to check out my sketches on Instagram.