(Like that alliteration? LOL)
Today is a day of minor celebration - my three adorable kiddies all headed back to school this morning! I do love them, but ... YAY!!!
Right now, although the house is a complete mess, it’s EMPTY and - oh thank you, Lord - it’s QUIET. But wouldn’t you know; here I am, in my silent, serene house, and I find I have absolutely nothing to say.
Which kinda sucks, when it’s my day to blog.
So I’m just going to burden you with my neuroses instead, OK?
Since finishing my SFD in early December, I have written absolutely nothing (bar these blog posts, of course.) This abstinence has served a very useful purpose, in that it’s allowed my SFD to ferment, and grow all sorts of interesting, technicolour mold. But the time has come to slice through the rind and see - with fresh eyes - what lies beneath.
And I’m scared.
What do I do if I come to the conclusion that revising my book is impossible? That it’d be a waste of time? Do I chuck it all out, cry like a baby for a week, then start on the new story that's in the back of my mind, whining like a two year old for attention?
These thoughts – these fears - have been buzzing around my head for days now, like a huge, annoying mosquito I just can’t seem to swat into oblivion. And to top it all off, this was my horoscope for Tuesday:-
“Scorpio – It would be an exaggeration to say that, once you’ve set a goal, you never give up. But accurate enough that it’s understandable you might regard bidding farewell to one particular project as a compromise. On the contrary, you’ve recognized it’s not working and are making space for other, more promising ventures.”
You have no idea how big a twist my kickers were in after I read that. I don't give any credence to horoscopes - heck, I virtually never even read the damn things - but once I read those words, I spent a whole day obsessing ...
Am I really wasting my time, going down the path of revisions?
Would it be better to start the new book? I know so much more about writing now than when I started this manuscript; surely – surely – writing the second book will be at least a tiny bit simpler than the first? And better?
It’s tempting. Oh, so tempting. How easy it would be to start a new project, with all the freedom and wantonness it entails. Got a logical, compelling plot? Ah, I’ll work on that during revisions! All those repetitious scenes, the overwriting, the half-baked characters, the tangled morass of dialogue? I’ll fix it later!
No question about it - taking your Most Excellent new story on its first outing, in the form of a SFD, is one huge adrenalin rush of fun. The ideas are new, fresh, exciting, and best of all, no one expects a polished gem of a book at the end. Not the first time round.
I can see how addictive it would be, to get caught in an endless loop of starting new work, without ever finishing one properly.
And yet …
I’m going to thumb my nose at my stars. My new book will stay where it is - on the back burner. Because even if I decide, at the end of the day, that my current manuscript is not worth salvaging, I still have to put myself through the paces of revising it to within an inch of its life. Just as I’ve learned so much about writing – and, more importantly, about how I write – through the process of writing my first draft, the only way I’ll ever get a handle on revising and editing - and learn to spot my mistakes, in the hope of never repeating them again! - is to Just Bloody Do It.
So ner-ner to you, horoscope. Come Monday morning, this Scorpio will be breaking out her red pen and rolling up her sleeves ...
And, my questions for you:-
When – and why – have you ever decided a project was just not going to work, and shelved it? Or have you ever powered on with something you thought was a lost cause – and what was the end result?