• The Zen of Writing

    Posted on March 22, 2012 by in Talking About Writing

    I decided to launch my indie writing career less than three weeks ago.  I had a manuscript I’d written and gotten good feedback on, so initially I focused all my efforts on learning about the market and how to break into it.

    It’s been a blast.  I’ve really enjoyed checking out other writers’ sites, resource blogs and discussion forums.  I’ve scrutinized more book covers than I can count, read a whole lot of book jacket blurbs, and tried to educate myself as best I could on the dos and don’ts of this emerging field.  I’m happy to report there is a lot of information out there and much of it is easily found.

    It wasn’t until the last couple of days that I actually sat down with my story to begin the first of two final edits.  This is a pretty well vetted novel.  When I first wrote it, I polished it as best I could myself before handing it off to four editors/betas (I refer to them as betas, but in actuality they weren’t beta readers. They made good use of track changes, and came back to me with feedback on everything from overall plot structure to word choice.).  Since that time, I’ve gone over the piece again perhaps a half dozen times.  That’s not to say it’s perfect.  Because it’s really, really not (I couldn’t believe I found a typo last night–a typo!).  But it’s not a mess, thank God.  It’s more something I’m looking to hone.  I’d love to lose 500-1,000 words (at 102,500+ there’s some fat on that bone) Oscar Wilde was right when he wrote:  “Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned.”

    But as I sat on the sofa, my laptop perched in front of me, it came as a surprise after day upon day of photo manipulation and website tweaking and emails sent off about one thing or another how calming this kind of work can be.  Rereading and making my edits, the world became very still for me, and focused.  And even though my idiot dog was yipping and yapping every time the cat came near his bone (honey, you must believe me when I tell you, the kitty has no interest in your rawhide), and my neighbors’ children were running down our apartment hallway at eleven o’clock at night, I felt as if I was really able to zero in on the work and get stuff done.  I found it so satisfying, I got up early this morning to do another ten pages before work.  I’m on page 63 of 273.  There’s a lot to go, but I feel as if I’m in good shape.

    I suppose the real test will be how I feel this time next weekend.


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One Responseso far.

  1. Ann Benjamin says:

    Go you! There is something very nice and ordered about the worlds we create. The characters *usually* behave how we want them to! Hope you make a lot of progress this week.

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