Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Value of Work

It's been a spell since I checked in here at this old blog. Miss me? What? You didn't notice I was gone? God, you guys are total assholes! I could have been DEAD IN A DITCH... Oh, you saw me on Facebook. Never mind.

I'm a busy lady, as are you all (except, of course, those of you who are gentle fellows). What with my job and my kid and my panicky freakouts about the economy and how that will impact my job and how that would impact my kid, I barely have time to have my nightly bourbon. I make time for that, but some nights it's after 10:00 when time is made.

So, you know I wrote this book, right? Took me a couple of years of scrabbling together 30 minutes here and an hour there, but I wrote the fucker and then rewrote it and then decided to put it out there. I got a couple of bites from literary agents but nothing panned out.

And after listening hard to the polite opinions of people who'd read it, and trying to dredge out what what they were avoiding to spare my feelings, I decided I needed to go back in. And so, as a particular exercise, I made myself sit down and read the thing, cover to cover, without taking notes, without making edits, without losing myself in this scene or that line of dialog. And what did I did I discover? This motherfucker needs WORK, you guys. And I mean that as literally as I can.

No one will ever tell you writing is easy, unless you're Bristol Palin or Octomom or someone else with a ghost writer... But the ghost writer would tell you that writing is hard. And the reason that it's hard is because it's not just finding the right words or really knowing your character. It's hard because you have to be willing to go back into it, again and again, and fix the things that are wrong. You have to do the work. You have to do the part that doesn't feel creative and doesn't come easily. You have to do the work.

Such is the lesson for life. There's always work to be done. But everything that is worth doing, is worth doing well. Cliche, sure. But things don't generally achieve cliche status without being true.

So, I'll meet you back here around Christmas and will hopefully have fixed the many, many things that are wrong with my beloved book. The plot points that come off as contrived, the character that drops out and then reappears in a manner that makes the reader (shit, made the WRITER) go "wait... who's that again?", the points when my voice completely drops away. A million things that are just a little bit wrong with it.

I'm doing the fucking work.