Inside Baseball For Authors/Writers
I’m not a big fan of writing blog posts about the writing process.
I don’t find such posts interesting, in general, especially when they veer off into advice. Giving people advice bugs me; I rarely want anyone’s advice, so I feel gross & hypocritical about giving it. This isn’t to disparage others, but to observe that where I’m at, writing-wise, is a place where I can’t let anyone else’s PROCESS or HABITS make me think I ‘ought to’ do things this way or that way. I’m a big sucker for compare & despair.
Of course there are exceptions. (Sara Ryan, on the 2/15/2013 episode of Sara Zarr’s THIS CREATIVE LIFE podcast, had a great point about shortening ‘the writer’s commute’ which I thought was dead-on and made a lot of sense for me, a person who doesn’t write every day and is sort of bratty about that fact).
Anyway, in case this kind of thing interests you, here’s a slice of life. My husband is in the basement, making all sorts of hellacious racket with a Sawz-all and everything smells like concrete and sawdust, and I need to shower and get the fuck out of here because in nine days, I must deliver book #2 to my editor guy. This guy, to be specific.
(When I talk about him to my non-writer friends, I call him Editor Guy. It’s just easier.)
Anyway, my kid keeps coming into my office, which is now also her bedroom, and where the vacuum cleaner lives, and where I’m warehousing five million baskets of folded laundry, and asking me shit about when her My Little Pony toy we had on back-order is supposed to arrive and I’m annoyed because I’m menstrual and harassed and didn’t sleep well last night because I got up every two hours thinking, This Fucking Book. Goddamn. It’s So WRONG.
I wish I could find his exact phrase, because Editor Guy told me while we were editing Sex & Violence something to the effect that I had packed my readers’ bags for the trip in Chapter One and so everything about how to end the story was already there. To use what I’ve already planted or something more elegant and metaphorical. Maybe he said it on the phone? I don’t know. I hate the phone – you can’t do a word search on phone conversations.
So last night, in the wee hours, I was thinking about all the crap I’d planted in book #2. Why did I put those characters there if I wasn’t gonna use them? How can I use what I already have? Why invent new stuff when you can recycle? Apt thoughts – the story takes place in part in a thrift store.
This, along with mailing out my GoodReads giveaways, is what I’m dealing with today. So, yeah. FYI.