“So, how’s the book coming?” Asks someone, looking at me, covered in children.
It’s a very polite, engaging question that I know every writer must be asked about 3,469 times during the process of writing their manuscript. We appreciate this question. We adore the people who ask this question. NOT because we want to brag about our progress, but because we are touched that anyone actually gives a shit about it, or us. You probably care more about us, if we’re being honest with ourselves… but we are touched nonetheless.
I may be the minority in this next feeling, however, but I’ll go ahead and say a good bit of us probably feel a bit of anxiety when asked this. Because up until the point the question is asked, especially for the first time, we are good to go. We have written or are writing as little or as much as we’ve had time for. We are keeping our thoughts on the quality of our work to ourselves and are drinking enough of the alcohol to cope with the lack of words or the complete shit we think it is. It’s amazing while we write it! No doubt GENIUS work… but come bed time, when you’re trying to drift off into Dreamland… theerreeee they come.
It’s too wordy.
It’s not descriptive enough.
What was the point of that entire passage you just wrote.
Delete it all.
The whole thing.
No, really… why did you even think this would be interesting.
Those voices go on and on until your brain can’t take it anymore and succumbs to sleep. Only to be woken at 3am by some random dream, and it’s starts all over.
So, when we get the “How’s it coming?”… it’s such a loaded response. But, nobody wants to hear ALL about it… they just want to hear “It’s going well! How have you been?” Is that what we answer? No. Because we start that word vomit, or at least I do, and I start going into how I’m basically horrible at putting together any sort of adult sentence and although I’m considered about 3/4 of the way through, I have no idea what direction I’m heading anymore. So, it’s probably a bunch of nonsense now. And I try not to cry as I speak aloud my sad, sad reality.
Which most likely makes the person squint their eyes in pity, and give that weird smile while they kick themselves internally for ever asking. I’m a nervous talker… I can’t stand the awkward silence, so I tend to fill it with awkward sounds, from my mouth, that is something like small talk, but it probably makes me seem like a buffoon. That’s ok though – I try to make up for it with my writing. It’s way easier to write things out, edit them, then share… I look WAY more put together online that I actually am.
Which brings me toooooooo – National Novel Writing Month… which, to me, is such a slap in the face. First of all… nobody can write anything worth reading the week before or after Thanksgiving. And if you can, you must be a wizard. Or maybe that’s why I’m not published… a real writer should be able to do it anytime, anywhere, any day! Right?
Sometimes I will sit and be on a roll… words are flowing, the air is fresh, my mind is clear and I’m living in my story. That’s when the stars align and my kids actually take their full naps, I don’t have 200 things nagging at the back of my mind that I need to get to… Other days I will say I’m going to write. I will get all my chores done, I will do all the mom things, and I will cozy up in my favorite writing spot and …. nada. Not a damn word. Not even a note to hopefully spark a paragraph at a later time.
Then, even when I DO get a bunch down and feel ultra super productive… I’ll have the whole – it’s all complete horse shit, just stop thinking this is going to be “the one”.
So, aside from all of THAT – we have the shortest amount of time EVER to be humiliated into writing 50,000 words in the month of November. Which is in all actuality, is roughly 3 weeks. And I have less than 50,000 since I began this second novel in July… sooooooo there shows ya how the damn thing is going. Pack on the raging heartburn from Thanksgiving and paper cuts from Minion wrapping paper and I’m having a truly Novel November.
Not Not Not.
What I need to do, is finish the damn thing. Get it ALL out, then go back and see where I need to cut, elaborate, add passages all together … but it’s really difficult around the holidays. Especially as a parent… with a wedding anniversary in the midst of it all. I know! I know, excuses excuses. But, you have to admit, those are valid ones!
I will return to The Quiet Ones – and I will make it wonderful. Ok I’ll make it decent, so that my friends won’t be completely blowing smoke up my ass when they tell me it’s good. Or, I won’t sob into my wine stained couch when they tell me something, or all of it sucks. That is, if they even finish it.
Either way. Should be a fun process. Being criticized always is, even when it’s constructive. EEEEVEN when you deliberately ask for it.
But, my Christmas tree looks REALLY pretty. I’m just going to focus on that, and not the fact that I haven’t touched my manuscript in 2 weeks. I miss it, I want to finish it. So that’s got to be a good sign.