If you want to count the ways, boogie on over to Anne R. Allen’s Blog and read “REALITY CHECK: Mixed Martial Arts for Writers” by Ruth Harris.
I suffered this week….for at least five minutes. The rest of the week I simply pretended I’m not a writer and did other stuff.
I practiced walking in real shoes.
I read more fiction.
I watched movies (including Fury which I thought was an excellent war movie and crazy almost in an Apocalypse Now kind of way. Remember when Kurtz says, “I’ve seen horrors… horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer”? It’s that kind of movie.)
I sat out in the sunshine in a lawn chair and soaked it up as though I hadn’t seen sunshine in a month….which is almost true.
This week I wanted to not be a writer.
What brought on those five minutes of suffering and the desire to be something else? I knew you’d ask that.
So, here it is….I sent a manuscript that I knew was a very iffy submission for the publisher. I sent it anyway and then held my breath. The editor responded with a friendly “you are really pushing your luck, missy” response that requires me to make a major decision about content rewrites.
And I’m struggling because I don’t want to remove the iffy elements of my story, even though I totally understand why the publisher would choose not to accept that story line. So I agonized over the decision to do rewrites for that five minutes, then decided to let it sink in. Understand what it all means. Consider options.
I thought about this quote attributed to sci fi writer Octavia Butler:
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
And pondered my errors:
1. I submitted a manuscript to a publisher that didn’t fit their model and expected what? A miracle?
2. I’ve sunk into a vat of swirling molasses. Tastes good but slows down progress.
3. I’ve spent too much time over the years on that particular iffy manuscript which might be crap and have neglected other stories more likely to sell.
The good things:
1. I’ve been living downstairs and surviving with my annoying laptop since March 7th, but I’m now able to get upstairs to my real work room and my real computer and all my papers and files and notebooks where I work best.
2. I am a writer and I have another manuscript to work on while I ponder the iffy submission.
3. The sun is shining.
Do you follow Anne R. Allen’s Blog? It’s an excellent resource for almost everything related to writing and getting published.