Thursday, January 08, 2009

the Dark Side

The dark side of being unpublished novelist (I love the ring of that, unpublished novelist...kind of up there with out-of-work actor) is that I must wait tables, I mean edit, on the side.

It's not the editing that gets me down. Far from it, it actually gets me up because I see that people can do it. People write things (with a lot of mistakes) and get published. So in a way, it brings me up.

What kills me is that time doing things other than my own stuff. I haven't touched my manuscript for a few months now. It went through a few reads and has been in the clutches of my mother, a thorough critic with a hate-on for commas. I'm itching to get back to it. It calls my name in the night, those first few moments after I lie down and the sentences and fixes pour through my head until I forcibly disregard them.

I need a few days, maybe a couple of weeks of uninterrupted, pure editing/revision time. Along with a house where I can lay pages out and have them remain undisturbed as I sort and rearrange. Maybe I could rent a hotel room or something. Hmmm.

Me and my laptop, copious cups of coffee with that miracle product, fat free creamer from Safeway (I don't even want to know how they get it so creamy-delicious), a red pen (not ballpoint, the other kind) and my iPod (luxury!). No one sitting by my side, asking me to read them particular sentences or what colour starts with "o." To which I replied "octopus," which totally showed that I wasn't listening. Chagrined.

Maybe, as that jewelry designer on The Bachelor said the other night, I need to vision board it. If I build it....

(And what was up on The Bachelor the other night??? I mean what was UP?)


Lisa and Laura said...

Uhh..what was up on the Bachelor? I totally didn't see it! Do I need to be adding that to my endless list of shameful DVR'd shows. All I know is that there is a child involved and that just seems like a terrible, terrible idea.

beth said...

On the bright side, having put aside your manuscript for so long will enable you to have completely fresh ideas on it, and you'll probably be much better at editing and revising it! Right now, I've been so entrenched in mine that I just hate it...

lotusgirl said...

I gotta just say that octopus is my new favorite color! I so love you!

I'd say if you need a day or two at a hotel to get all your stuff together, it might be the way to go. Men take business trips, don't they? Let Jade take over getting the kids to daycare. This is feminist me talking.

Lady Glamis said...

I have no idea about television anything, so don't ask me... hehe

But as for editing, I envy that you can leave your MS alone for so long. I'm unable to do that at all! Beth is right, it's nice to come back to it with fresh ideas.

I had to start another novel in order to set aside my other novel... it's an endless, hopeless cycle.

Justus M. Bowman said...

"People write things (with a lot of mistakes) and get published. So in a way, it brings me up."

I understand how you feel. :) If I see "Bob likeded Sally much" in a bestseller, I start to think, "I can do this!"

Here's the potential problem...what if those books sell because of their flaws rather than in spite of their flaws. What if Author X's excessive use of adverbs appeals to the readers? :O Let us hope it is not true.

Justus M. Bowman said...

*in spite of their flaws?

spinregina said...

Lisa and Laura - If you have a very low threshold for good TV then by all means DVR the B. It's pretty girls acting as stupid as they are can imagine.

Beth - you are so very right. Avoiding work yesterday I got sucked right back in. Fresh eyes are good. I could see quite clearly everything wrong with it. A good thing. Disheartening momentarily, but good.

Lois - Ah, the next night, watching TV, I jumped as out of the corner of my eye I saw something crawling near my feet. It was my toe, freshly painted ever-so-stylishly with Chanel Black Satin. L-oser.

And as per usual, you made me think of something. There is a city writing grant for $4000, meant to give writers 3 months to work on a project. I'm going to apply. Worst case they say no, best case I'm sitting on a beach with my manuscript. Wonder if they need receipts?

Justus - let's go with because of. I'm hoping my h/b loves me b/c of...if not there's not much hope!

lotusgirl said...

that grant sounds great! Best of luck!