Wasn't I supposed to finish my book or something by now?

Today I want to talk about writing.

I used to do that. Write.

Not so much anymore.

These days, my life is filled with work assignments (which I don't actually count as writing), preparing for my last semester of school, saving itineraries and making lists for Europe, and reading a whole, whole lot about what I'll need to become a mother and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

But there's this little, very important book saved on my computer that's only about halfway edited. 

It wasn't but maybe a month after I heard from the agent who'd read my work that I sunk into a bottomless pit of despair (and, no, it didn't have anything to do with her). I was very encouraged by what she said about my story and my writing. I was excited to know that, although she didn't feel she could represent me at that time, she wanted me to keep working and send her my edits when I finished them.

Now, as any writer can tell you there are processes to writing a book. And every writer does it a different way.

I usually only write when I'm inspired, which I know would make my dear, beloved professor P.C. roll over in his grave. He was constantly reminding us that "writers write". Which is probably one of the truest things ever spoken. He would sometimes hole up in his office between classes and not answer his door. You could sneak up and listen to the glorious sounds of Mozart streaming from between the cracks in his door, and hear that rapid-fire clickety clack of his computer keys as he typed out another brilliant story. Perhaps he'd toss that one out. or he'd delete everything but one line to use for another day. But he wrote. All the time.

I do not.

I will think on a story for days, weeks, even months, before I write anything down. And what's strange about this is that I am not a patient person. I like to get things out immediately. I like to deal with conflict head on. No festering wounds for me (I think I just compared my imagination to a festering wound...). But when it come to telling stories, as much as I want to write them down, I'll admit it. My terrible secret.

Are you ready for this?

Sometimes I 'd rather just sit and watch Man Vs. Food instead.

Or sleep.

Or eat.

Or go hang out with my friends.

I am a Jedi master procrastinator.

And as much as I want to finish the edits on my book, it's like pulling teeth to get me to sit down and do them. Mostly because, deep down, I'm not sure I can make the story what this very sweet, wonderful dream of an agent wants it to be.

Didn't I talk about this once already?

I think I remember saying that I shouldn't write for anyone other than myself. That's another thing P.C. (R.I.P.) used to tell us: "What what you know". I can't write what an agent knows. Or a publishing company. Or even a reader. I have to write what I know. Because, let me tell you, my audience is young adult readers. And young adult readers can spot bullshit a mile away. I don't want to give them bullshit.

But I also want to get published. It's my dream. I've longed to see my novel on the shelves of a bookstore since I was old enough to read (that's a long, long time, you guys). 

I suppose the answer to both these dilemmas is to sit down, write it out, and just get the effing thing done. Edit it. Change it up some more. And it let it become the most real, the most authentic, it's ever going to be. Because this is what I know to be true: it won't become anything if I don't do something.

When I do that, I think it will satisfy the agent. And my potential readers. And who knows? Maybe it will even satisfy me.

Here's hoping.

1 comment

meme-and-he said...

I always admire writers for having such internal motivation. Obviously you can struggle to find that at times (you aren't alone!) but the end product is always so worth it!