Monthly Archives: April 2010

It’s why I DON’T sleep in the nude

If you’re an unpublished author (like me) then you may or may not tell others that you write.  I almost never tell others that I write because it inspires a touch of (oh so unnecessary) hollywood excitement in people. They have so many questions: What’s the title of your book? (There’s always an assumption that you’ve written a book, why doesn’t anyone ask whether I wrote a magazine article, or whether I author how-to manuals for kitchen appliances?).  What’s it about, they want to know, and the dreaded, ‘Can I read what you’re working on now’? 

 It’s so hard to explain why that book I told you about last year was never published or how I edited it into a completely different story 6 months ago. Let’s face it, there’s nothing to brag about if you’re unpublished because you’re not recognized as official.  You’re considered fair game to anyone’s critique or suggestions because you’re not yet a ‘real’ writer.  It’s a raw, unwelcome vulnerability in my little world.

Consider the woman (me) that refuses to sleep naked for fear of the intruder (keep reading, there’s a connection, I promise).  Am I afraid he will point out the obvious fact that I’ve been skipping a few workouts in lieu of an ice cream break?  Maybe.  Or is it that I can’t imagine doing my best Charlie’s Angels inspired karate kick with the nooks and crannies of my body that live in darkness being exposed to the light of day?  Maybe.  Or is it that I fear that the night I’m visited by the intruder that gets away will be the night the hunka hunka of all hunks will be the officer on duty and I may blind him with the dimples and folds on my body that are meant to be properly restrained (thank you, Spanx!). Maybe.  It’s all of these things (in a way) because they are all the same fear.  The fear of being caught in absolute vulnerability.  Aren’t we all afraid of that?  Preparation gives us control and some amount of comfort.

Putting myself out there leaves me vulnerable to rejection, open for an attack.  Attack from the future reader, publisher, agent or knight in shining armor because I wasn’t properly prepared. 

When I am a published author I will scream it from every social network I can find (yes, family members, maybe I’ll even get a facebook account) but until then I have to remain in control of my exposure if for no other reason than to allow myself the hope I need to keep writing because right now I can handle the rejections of agents and editors but the rejection from my loved ones might be more than I can take. 

So, this is for all aspiring writers that hesitate to answer proudly, ‘I’m an author’, when asked what you do.  It’s ok.  Surround yourself with other writers and sources of inspiration.  This is your time of preparation and when (and if) the time is right for you to, you will call yourself a writer and simply hand someone your latest hardbound work of art when they ask, ‘What do you do?’

Hang in there!


One Race Down…

I did it!  I’ve put one more 13.1 mile ‘race’ behind me and with my best time yet!  I can’t say I’ll miss running anytime soon but all of the work did pay off.  Now that I’ve enjoyed my post-race reward (as much chocolate-chip ice cream as I could eat in one sitting) I’m ready to get back on schedule, writing schedule that is.

I’ve started to wonder if I’ll feel the same exuberance from finishing this novel a second time as I did when I thought I had finished it several months ago.  You may recall I completed my first young adult novel several months ago only to receive the critiques I had been waiting for on said novel (a mixed blessing, of course) which were chock full of valuable suggestions (naturally) some of which I decided to implement. 

While all writers are used to the perpetual editing cycle, I have to say I’ve felt outside of the traditional editing ‘box’ now that I’ve almost doubled the length of my original work.  My general perception of editing involves more removing, chopping, and thinning of content rather the generous plumping I’ve done by adding an entire subplot. 

Nevertheless, I’m very excited with what will soon be the completion of the second edition of my first young adult novel.

I have found that the rewards I reap from any task are in proportion to the efforts I’ve put into it.  With that in mind, the unbelievable gratification I experienced after completing a 1/2 marathon this weekend is but a molehill next to the mountain of fulfillment I’ve experienced in completing a novel.  Nothing I have ever done compares, or even comes close (although raising 4 kids by myself can be shelved in a league of its own), to the work and dedication necessary to complete a novel. 

Is a novel really just words arranged in a magical way??  Yes!  And so much more…