Tuesday, July 25, 2006

There's nothing wrong with being earnest

Yesterday as I was googling, I came across this: The Process of Being Mentally Ill, Part One. It's from Joshilyn Jackson's blog: Faster Than Kudzu and describes, in extensive, witty detail, the mental breakdown stage of novel writing...at least from one author's perspective.

Read it. It's both comforting and hilarious at the same time.

Small world, the internet. Faster Than Kudzu is the first writer's blog I ever read. I came across it about 2 years ago when Jackson's first novel Gods in Alabama was about to be published. To be honest, her blog scared me away from writer's blogs for a long time. Why? My own insecurities of course! I found Faster Than Kudzu to be clever, entertaining, informative, and completely intimidating. After reading a couple of entries, I thought if this is what real writers have to be able to do, I don't have a prayer.

Joshilyn Jackson is cool and honest and funny. I'm earnest and a dork. The thing I've come to realize, however, is that there are lots of writers out there and just as many types of writers. Sure there are those who enjoy cool, honest, funny writing, but there might be a place for the earnest dorks of the world as well. And even if there isn't, it doesn't mean that I can't write or that I shouldn't write. (Yes, I'm trying to bolster myself up here.)

It's interesting, coming back to her blog now that she has two books out. (The second is called: Between, Georgia) She's developed quite a following. I think it's a good example of how a writer can use a blog help publicize herself. (Although, I doubt generating publicity was the reason she started blogging, or why she keeps at it.)

Obviously, I don't have a problem with writer's blogs anymore. In fact, I now follow several. (Note to self: Make a list of links!) I'm not sure my confidence level is quite high enough to regularly read Faster Than Kudzu, but I'm sure I'll be up to it eventually.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Two-thirds more

I've edited about a third of the notebook scrawl. My goal, if you remember, was to get it all revised by the end of the month. It might still be possible. The family and I just returned from Maui (sorry!) and I'd hoped to get a lot of work done during our trip, but surprise, surprise, I wasn't able to do as much as I'd hoped. Now that I'm home, I should be able to make better progress.

Speaking of progress, the kids are playing quietly, so I'd better take advantage and get back at it!

More soon...

Monday, July 03, 2006

done...sort of

I'm sort of done...but not really. I did finish the story, but now I have all these notebook pages of SFD (shitty first draft) to type into the computer and try to craft into something decent.

It's finally starting to dawn on me, though, that SFDs are okay, and so far I haven't had too much anxiety during the revision process. For example, check out this quote from a recent Laurie R. King blog entry:

...when a beginning writer looks at a book like THE ART OF DETECTION they often say, “I couldn’t write a book like that.” And I have to agree, I couldn’t either.

But I could rewrite a book like that.

Rewriting is where the serious work occurs. There's nothing wrong with rewriting--on the contrary, it's an essential part of the process. When this section of my book is finally complete, no one will know the sorry state it was in when it was first conceived. It's okay that it reads like crap right now. I can make it better. (I know I've said all this before, but I'm hoping this time my feeble brain will finally accept it as truth!)

In related news, I made the possible mistake of setting another goal. This time to get the polish/edit of my notebook scribblings finished by the end of July. I think it's possible, but lord knows I haven't always done the best job of estimating realistic time frames. I'll give it my best shot, though.

Oh and after over three years, I finally have a title for my novel. It's not set in stone, but for now it feels right.

I'm still inching along, but I'm getting there!