Monday, January 16

These are the days @Liz Flaherty

A repeat of my writers' group assignment, with additions. :-)

On Wednesday night, after I wrote and discarded three epilogues, I finally typed “The End” on the book manuscript that is due to the publisher on February 1.

It’s the second-best day in a writer’s life. This writer, anyway. It means I get to wade back into the story and do the first round of fixes on it. I get to go through and make sure the heroine’s eyes that were gray in Chapter One are still gray in Chapter Seventeen. I get to stare at an entire scene in disbelief and look around to make sure no one else has seen it because it is…oh, man, words escape me, but it is so bad I can’t imagine it came from these acrylic fingertips. I get to send it off to beta readers with pleas to be constructive but kind. I get to go through it again to act on or ignore the suggestions of the readers. I get to obsess over whether I should act on or ignore suggestions. I get to wake in the middle of the night and obsess over the previous obsession. I have heard other writers say they follow their own instincts. I’m fairly certain if I found mine and followed them, I would soon be hopelessly lost. Far better to obsess.

And then I get to take a week off. Sometimes I take more than that, but I have a proposal due April 1 and need to write a novella this year, too, so I’m just taking a week. My writing has slowed exponentially with each birthday, so I worry about being able to get things done in time--I love having that to worry about. My husband has suggested it would behoove me to have my driving slow a bit with those birthdays, too, but there are times I just ignore him and go on. Quickly.

I love the week off. I get a lot of sewing done. I occasionally plan to clean a room and might get one drawer done. I clear the top of the desk—well, part of it. I work on taxes—no, I don’t; didn’t I just say this was a week off?

I have lunch with friends, dinner out with Duane. I work on promotion, obsess over the title (working title is It Was Written in the Stars--what do you think?) and cover of the upcoming book and know in my heart of hearts that the editor will hate it and, more importantly, so will the readers. Actually, what I know is that no one will read it, ever, so they won’t know if they hate it or not. But I’ll know. I’ll know.



I should quit writing right now. I'm a terrible writer anyway. I should just give it up and use my computer strictly for playing Solitaire and screaming at Facebook—which is even more stressful on a large, flat screen than it is on an iPhone.

Sometimes during my time off I write generic blog posts that I can use if my mind goes blank when I need to have a post ready in the next fifteen minutes. 

Occasionally during this time, if the company is right and I’m not driving, I will drink. I will wonder why I ever stopped smoking. I might even watch television. But probably not.

At some point midweek, I’ll sit at my computer. I’ll delete files. Pictures of people I don’t know. Downloads I don’t know why I have. Sometimes I delete the wrong things. I’ll play more games. I'll think about newsletters and wonder why I’m the only writer in the free world who doesn’t have one. About bookmarks and promo pens and what I could do this year that was new. This is my time off. My time to relax. I can’t write…not now.

The hell I can’t. I make sure the tea is hot, settle into the chair until it stops squeaking, and open a new file. I type CHAPTER ONE.

It’s the first-best day of a writer’s life.

Have a great week.

Liz 

18 comments:

  1. Congratulations on "The End." This book will be as brilliant and touching and lovely as the rest, so stop stressing and soak in the sense of accomplishment. Hugs, baby!

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  2. Wait... were you writing about *your* writing experience or *mine*? 'Cuz that sounds exactly like what I go through (aside from the sewing and having dinner with Dyane) ;-)

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    1. Oh, thank goodness I'm not alone. Lol. I imagine a lot of us go through it, don't you?

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  3. Thank you for giving all novice writers a glimpse into the authors world. I continue my quest to type The End very soon. Then I will take the the next step and attempt to fix my mistakes. I know they are there the computer colorfully shows them to me. I ignore them on my first attempt letting the words flow. I love your proposed title

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    1. Thanks, Patrice. Getting to The End is a great accomplishment in and of itself. Congratulations!

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  4. I love this and am anxiously awaiting The End for my third book. Too much life stuff is slowing me down right now. And Handsome is what is most important.

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    1. I had a hard time with this book. I know I'm not alone in saying 2016 was a rough year, and that roughness wasn't particularly good for my writing. Good for you and Handsome. :-)

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  5. I should type another 'The End' this week - to be quickly followed by 'Chapter One'. Congrats, Liz, can't wait to read it!

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  6. Hi Liz, Congrats! Typing "The End" on a manuscript is one of those special moments in a writer's life. Savor this time...

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    1. It is special, isn't it? And, when you think about it, something that doesn't happen that often, so you're right--savoring is good! Thanks, Joanne!

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  7. I love writing The End because it means I can go back and start revising. For me, the first draft is like a new coloring book. I don't have to invent the outlines again, and I can fill in whatever colors strike my fancy.

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    1. That's pretty much it, Helen. I love it, too. I even love editorial revisions, although they scare me to death sometimes!

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  8. Can't wait to read this one! The last time I finished a book, it was Bix. And the one before that. Bix. And the one before that. Right. Bix.

    I need to finish another book. LOL. Congrats on yours!

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    1. Lol. Thanks, Margie. You'll finish--I know you will!

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  9. I feel like I haven't gotten to a "The End" for a long time. I can't wait to get there! Have fun on your week off.

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    1. Thanks, Jana. I've snuck into Chapter 1 in the new one while the beta readers are catching errors. It's fun!

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