Hi folks! I’m on an editing deadline and we have a big graduation this weekend! Here’s a post from a couple years ago that feels very pertinent right about now…Have a great week!
reprinted/edited from October 11, 2013
Yeah, yeah, I know, writing a book is a marathon. Don’t remind me, because I’m feeling the burn, baby! Here are Seven Signs you may be utterly toxic from struggling to the end of that elusive finish line:
–Coffee, ordinarily delicious and an aid to your muse, tastes bitter and disgusting and you never want another cup again.
–Your husband arrives home to find you in tears. Mumbling how you are in the last 50 pages and your book makes no sense and you think you have to delete the whole thing and start over.
–To take a break, you read a great, fabulous author, but instead of inspiring you, you start to cry. “I can never write like that! Why bother?”
–Your backside hurts from BICHOK (Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard). And your hamstrings, and your calves, and all the tendons in your hands. And the last joint of your index finger! There’s got to be a name for that…”writer’s finger,” maybe?
–You know that this, your “final” draft, is almost done. You pray for it to be done. All you want is relief. Your characters are suffering, heading right into that blackest of moments, and you are contemplating heading out the window. You are laughing, weeping, mumbling to yourself, and in total despair. And just to tip yourself over the edge, you know this will not be THE final draft. Oh, you will see this puppy again. And again, and again, as you carefully reread every word, requestion every word choice.
–You appear in public in sweats. Your deepest darkest secret is sometimes you don’t even shower and dress until just before your kids come home from school.
–You keep saying, “I’ll clean the [insert something appropriate here–e.g., refrigerator/mail pile/car] when I’m done,” a task you despise. But right now it’s looking pretty good as a diversion. Scary!
I don’t know how this marathon will end. All I want is to muscle through and be done. I pound my head against the keyboard and drink my gross coffee (better than eating through the fridge). Every day I sit here and slog it out, and every day I fix the slog from the day before. And most days I do this with a kind of joy I’ve never experienced before.
Except any suffering writer will tell you that getting to the end is a pyrrhic victory in a way. The exhaustion, the self doubt, it can take over if you let it. But you know that saying? It’s never as good or as bad as you think it is? Yeah. That’s usually the case. A little distance, a little rest, and laying off the coffee for a while and sanity usually returns. And you can’t wait to start another book!