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Mar. 20th, 2013 | 02:27 pm

Coffee shop, this morning the music is good enough to keep my earbuds out, at least while I’m editing. It’s a No-Email-‘Til-You-Write Day. You talk to yourself in the second person when you’re trying to enforce discipline, self-discipline being easier when it’s external. It’s easier to check in with a writing buddy or sit down with a writing buddy or remember suddenly, while writing, that you owe an email to a writing buddy and maybe you should just stop and do that, get it out of your head so you can move on, right?

Wrong.

Don’t touch the fucking email, you say to yourself. Yesterday was a wash, you had a headache, you had PMS, it wasn’t the time to go to the emotional place the manuscript is going, you needed a day to lie in bed and play on the computer and pop Aleve and drink a big bottle of water, the headache’s intensity a relief that it wasn’t just an excuse.

Because here’s what you know: you’re not working hard enough. That five to ten pages a day isn’t fast enough. Someone else who works harder is going to get published first.

So you take on another project. Smart. You’re going to write a non-fiction book, the stars are aligned, you’ve got people with a lifestyle brand who want a coffee table book. They’ve already been covered by national media, they’re reality TV veterans, they have the blurbs and the physical beauty and the uniqueness of concept and Thank God! a publicist already. If you can write this proposal, you can sell it. It will sell.

And the rub is, you can’t fuck this one up.

I can’t fuck this one up.

The lifestyle brand couple consists of one former student, mine, and his girlfriend who meets me with, “I’ve heard how amazing you are!”

Fucking this one up means not just losing the project, losing the project that’s ready to sell and that I’m ready to write—this is why I’ve been reading agent blogs and design blogs and critiquing other people’s manuscripts for free for three years, this is what I was preparing for, what I am now prepared for, so I can sit down in a meeting and confidently ask, what’s your mission and how will this book serve it? and confidently say, here’s the timeline I envision, here’s what we’ll pitch to agents, here’s how to find the agents we’ll pitch it to—fucking it up means losing your former student’s respect. Letting him down. Showing him his faith in you is unfounded.

And that’s why writing a blog post is technically “a break.” Going to the coffee shop is “work”. Why you have to plan your time two months ahead so you won’t get off the rails completely when your other job starts, so you won’t lose your best writing buddy when you change time zones again.

That’s why being a beautiful creative artistic spirit means getting out of bed early and putting in 8 hours, trying to make more of those hours typing hours and less of them “thinking” hours. (“Thinking” is what you call driving around trying to decide if you want to find another coffee shop, switch chairs and do another session, or go home and take a nap because writing is so much work, just like coal mining in KwaZulu-Natal or selling gum on the corner in Mumbai, because when you’re white and well-off and your own boss you have to make it sound like work as much as possible, build layers between yourself and kind of a whiner, aren’t you?)

Break’s over.

______________________________________________

Words today: 3166
Pages edited, ready to start tomorrow: 9
Amount of career progress: Still not enough

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Comments {5}

blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Mar. 20th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
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You are awesome, rolled in awesome, with awesome sauce on top.

And sprinkles. :)

::POM POMS::

You will write the non-fiction piece, you will make check boxes. They will get checked. :)

It will be, wait for it,

Made of awesome! (in any time zone)

:)

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Donna

(no subject)

from: dabhug
date: Mar. 20th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
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I relate to a lot of this here, not so much with the writing, because I am not a Writer, but with the craftiness. I am not working hard enough on it. But I have a day job! If I'm not working hard enough on it, I don't know what else I can possibly do to work harder! And so on.

Anywho. Thank you for your support, as always. And stop being so hard on yourself. Because, yes, you are awesome.

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Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Mar. 21st, 2013 06:10 am (UTC)
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*hugs*

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drwex

Whoa

from: drwex
date: Mar. 21st, 2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
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Who are you and would you please stop beating up on my friend? She's good, see, but she doesn't need a lot more pressure. She needs to breathe, to be in herself, to trust in her skills and abilities. To, as the drag queens used to say to me, fake it until you make it, honey.

So you, with the high-pressure pitch and the whirling black ball of anxiety? Back off. I know you - you haunt my dreams all the time. I name thee, and cast thee out. Scram.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program.

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whipchick

Re: Whoa

from: whipchick
date: Mar. 24th, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
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I'm so happy to have you on my side :)

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