I looked through the folders on this computer today and was amazed at how many things I have written. I don’t let my manuscripts sit in a desk drawer unsubmitted. No. I let them languish in computer files while I write more and neglect to send anything anywhere.
I do have one article out. An editor asked to see some more of my work and I sent it last spring. I have not followed up. I don’t deal well with rejection, and I always fear my things will come back unwanted. Best to keep them hidden away.
Or maybe not.
I try to blog daily, but once in awhile life gets in the way. Also, I usually work on an article, story or poem every day, and that too takes time. I’ve wondered if blogging is taking too much time from my writing career?
I decided it does not. Often as I glance through my previous posts, I see ideas and suggestions for a salable manuscript. I see bits and pieces that can be used in something I’m writing. It’s a place to store ideas.
Ideas can be stolen without repercussions, but they cannot be developed in the ways I would develop them. Besides, how many people read my blogs anyway, ha ha? This is a fine place to write random ideas that may lead to something else.
I am setting up a home office in the smallest bedroom in my house. My youngest son moved out of the room almost two weeks ago. I’ve been busy collecting my books on writing and trying to organize my materials. I eventually want to move this computer into that room so that it can be where I write.
I’m wondering if having the office will help me be more industrious in my writing? I know having these blogs is getting me into the habit of daily writing on specific topics. Since I have 3 or 4 books started, I think this will be good when I sit down and begin to work 3 or 4 hours a day on writing. I can devote an hour each to different projects.
With all my writing stuff being in this bedroom, which is small, I have felt cluttered and rushed when I’d try to work on manuscripts. It doesn’t help that my bed is also in this room and frequently beckons me to lie down and nap. As I age, I have more health problems and naps are something I thoroughly enjoy.
I may put a futon in the office, but that will be for a son to sleep on when he is visiting. Right now two have moved out and the other one is chomping at the bit to be gone.
I have many boxes in the living room that were brought here from the storage building. They need to be sorted through and they may even provide some material for writing.
All I know is, at this time, my main endeavor is to get my office assembled. There’s a desk in the utility room that I’d like to put in there. It needs painting first. I think I have three more weeks before I return to my day job.
When the office is “ready” I will post a picture of it.
Although my book lives in my head and is very real to me, unless I put the words down, it will not write itself. The words flow out of my fingertips and I marvel at their appearance on the page. All the things I know and think can come out and be read by others. Then my book will be “in print”. I am putting it in print.
This morning, just now, before my breakfast, but not before the cat’s breakfast – I sat outside with her and felt her grief and lonliness – and was reminded of my book. She ate part of her breakfast and then got in my lap. I petted her and talked to her and when she began to knead my legs with her toenails out, I put her down to eat some more of her cat food. She ate a little more and then jumped into my lap again. I petted her some more. Finally the arthritis was bad enough that I needed to stand and come back in the house. It rained last night and that does nothing to ease the pain in my muscles and joints. I hope to move back to the beach next year, but see how scatter brained my head is? I can think about 2 or 3 things at the time, but until I harness the words and make one topic appear on the page . . . I have digressed.
I came here to say I have just written 792 words on Book #1. It was a scene with someone who at one time meant a great deal to me. It was a scene I had forgotten. I am writing this book as a memoir. Not sure if it will be published that way or if it will be “based on a true story”. (It won’t matter, if it’s never written.) So before breakfast, I’ve done some real writing.
Today the phone is ignored. The email is not read, and I will accomplish something, if it kills me. 792 words. That’s a good start.
I woke up this morning filled with energy and anticipation. First I had to make one phone call that I’d been trying to make – had been asked to make – last Thursday.
What a mistake that was! It resulted in my spending two hours sending out resumes and applying for jobs. It resulted in my disappointment at what I thought was going to be a good conversation. It reaffirmed my belief that telephones are evil inventions and best left alone.
Tomorrow I will NOT talk on the phone. I will NOT check my email. I guarantee you I will get more done on my writing career. It seems to be the only one I have left.
I do not have anything ready at the moment, but I have done a bit of work on Book #2 today. I’ve had eight scenes buzzing around in my head for a couple days. I wrote out the bare bones of each and added that to what I already have written for the book. There are things I don’t want to leave out, and if I don’t document the thoughts, some scenes may not get included. If they’re important enough to nag at me for a couple days, they’re important enough to be noted. Now they are.
Research is something that writers do. There are various sources different writers use.
Sometimes I do experiments of my own to find out information.
Research is needed for both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts.
Research is even needed in memoirs if you want to compare how different people remember the same event.
Sometimes a magazine will accept a manuscript and end up not using it. Some of these magazines will then pay you a “kill fee”, which is lower payment because they didn’t use the manuscript, but payment because while they were “holding it”, you did not submit it elsewhere.
I’ve been paid kill fees twice in my career. Both were for poems. One went on to be published in another magazine. The other one was never re-submitted.
I suppose the term is because they killed the submission before publication?
I planned to stay home today and work on the submission of various manuscripts I have written. Some editing work was also planned.
Instead I was told in an email that someone was coming to collect something I left at my old job. But it was my oldest job that the item belonged to. The next oldest job’s items were to be delivered today by someone who was running that errand for me.
What a mess of confusion! So I got dressed. I had planned to stay in pajamas all day working. A ploy to make sure I didn’t leave home. But I had to get dressed and take the items for my next oldest job in so they didn’t take the wrong items from my oldest job.
Now it’s almost lunchtime and no work has been done on my writing. It often feels like there’s a conspiracy to keep me from becoming the author I desire to be.
I can plan, plan, plan, but something will interfere with those plans.
Can I just stay home now, or should I go somewhere and hide from the world while I write? Maybe that’s why some writers do retreat. You can’t get much done when the world can find and bother you.
My day job may be “settled” now. If so, I have five weeks left this summer, including this one, to work on my writing.
I did go to a job interview this morning. I decided after the interview to share an article I wrote. I sent the man the link. I’m not sure I’ve published much here. I’m going to put the link to it here. It’s online:
Scroll down. Look at purple magazine on right side of website. TOV Fall 2012, page 4.