It used to be so easy, I never even tried.

CheneyOn Writing0 Comments

This was a very low-key weekend. I had big intentions of finishing my read through The Eternals first draft, and of reviewing two indie books I have read lately (I’ll never, EVER insinuate that I think of myself as a good reviewer – sorry!), but instead I read, and I plotted. Sort of.

Yesterday morning I decided that I didn’t want to do much of anything besides read. I picked up a book that I bought a while ago and never started reading – Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Well, I read the entire thing cover to cover yesterday and I was blown away by it. I couldn’t put the book down, seriously. It was like The Hunger Games, only better, I swear. 

Something about Divergent really got to me, though. In the beginning of the book, Beatrice, (Tris), has to take aptitude tests and go through a Choosing Ceremony to decide which faction she is going to belong to. All I could think about when I sat there rapt, reading it, was The Picking. The Picking – the ceremony that takes place in my book, The Eternals. 

Now, the ceremonies are not alike at all, and neither are the overall concepts of the book. My book is about vampires, after all. It was just the way that Veronica writes and I don’t that had me all fershnickered. She shows, doesn’t tell. I tell, I don’t show enough.

I know that if I pick up my manuscript and read through it with a red pen in my hand, I would cross out more than half of what is written there. I need a read through, I need some notes taken, I need a rewrite.

I can see it plain as day now, what I need to do. 

***

To me, this is the last day of summer.

Elise starts kindergarten tomorrow, so that means it’s back to waking up at 7a.m. every morning until June, because if I don’t do it every day, I don’t do it at all. This means earlier bedtimes for Elise and more writing time for me. This means I go back to pretending that I have two full time jobs – one as a slave to Quickbooks and email and furniture, the other as a novelist. 

And this is the reason that I have never been able to take myself seriously as a writer – I write every day, THEY SAY, because I can’t not do it. I’ve never had that sweet not-problem. 

Here’s A GREAT PIECE OF WRITING ADVICE FROM BRIAN K. VAUGHN:

WRITE MORE, DO OTHER STUFF LESS.

That’s it. Everything else is meaningless. You can take all the classes in the world and read every book on the craft out there, but at the end of the day, writing is sorta like dieting. There are plenty of stupid fads out there and charlatans promising quick fixes, but if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise more and eat less. Period. Every writer has 10,000 pages of shit in them, and the only way your writing is going to be any good at all is to work hard and hit 10,001.

This means one thing to me: saying no more often.

It’s the last day of summer. The last day of the time I yearn for (and live for) every year. This usually feels like a time of things dying and ending for me, because winter, so bleak – it is past the end, it is the dark and nothingness of winter. But this year, the last day of summer feels more like the beginning of some other season I am not quite familiar with yet.

But know this: I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year – and I’m going to win it.

Feel like sharing some thoughts?