Posted by erinlausten on August 22, 2013
When I was in college, I thought when I got to that last semester I had it figured out. I knew how to write papers quickly and efficiently. I could research with the best of them. I knew what the professors expected and had established a time management plan that worked for me.
Boy was I wrong. That last semester was the hardest of all. Everything I said above was true, but that semester almost killed me. I still remember calling up my dad crying, wanting to quit, and just all around throw in the towel.
Why? Well the courses weren’t hard. The professors were great. Everything was fabulous. So why was I a wreck?
It came down to one, small, yet extremely relevant reason. It was the LAST semester. My brain decided I was done before the end. Finishing that degree was one of the hardest things I’d had to do. And ultimately, I discovered that finishing period was the culprit. Not the actual activity, but the grand condition called Completed.
I have discovered this as a trend in subsequent projects, and especially those that take extended periods of time. Graduate school was the same. Then I started writing books and ran into the same issue.
Finishing a book is rough. But just like with anything else, you have to put your head down and just get it done.
I keep telling myself that. And yet, here I am again. I have five chapters left. I’m so close, I’m not even looking at word count anymore. I have a series of scenes that are laid out before me and just need to be written. It’s exciting. It’s invigorating. It’s driving me nuts.
Five chapters. I even have the outline in big bold letters on the Huge dry erase board my fabulous husband built for me. And…. My brain decided I was done last week. Now it wants to think about what happens next. What are my plans when it is done? What revisions do I need to focus on first? Where do I go next? How long will I let it sit? When will I be able to send to my Beta Readers? How soon will I be able to have it released?
Oh My God. IT ISN’T EVEN DONE!
You can see the problem. So what’s the solution? Well, I have declared war on my brain and told it to shut the hell up. I am going to write a chapter tonight if it kills me. Then I will write another the next day and the next day. One day at a time. I am going to stop thinking and just write.
I don’t care if it sucks today. I can fix it in revision. I don’t care if I missed something. I can fix it in revision. I don’t care when it will be released. It never will if I Don’t FINISH, so that’s just a stupid thing to get in the way of writing.
It will be done, and with luck, my next post will have some fabulous news. Wish me luck!
Oh, and, yes, I did make it through that last semester. Thanks Dad.
Posted in writing | Tagged: Beta_Readers, book, Books, brain, college, completion, Dad, done, editing, edits, final, finishing, focus, issues, Luck, projects, revision, support, writer, writing | 3 Comments »
Posted by erinlausten on January 31, 2011
I had an absolutely fantastic weekend. After the stress bomb of course. I have the terrible tendency to hold in frustration until it blows like a dust devil over a dirt road. Nothing too bad, but enough to throw you a little off kilter. I have a wonderful husband who puts up with it.
So, the weekend was packed. I attended a wonderful presentation on Editing by Viki Lyn and Donna Hatch. I was very happy to walk away with some new thoughts on editing and publishing. Once I got home I had a plan of action, which it turns out, I desperately needed. Then promptly had my fit of stress, and wasted my night on self pity and obnoxiousness. Then finished with quality time with my loved ones. Thank everything that is holy that I only do this once every six months.
Then after a heavy, heavy nights rest (freaking out is exhausting). I woke up and joined Shahrinaz (the greatest group of ladies I have ever had the opportunity to know, see previous post) on the set of a new Steampunk webseries titled Mantecoza. It was absolutely fantastic! I had a blast and can’t wait to see the completed production. I was super impressed by the professionalism, warm welcome and hearty thanks. The cast and crew from Mantecoza is one group that should get accolades just for being awesomeness incarnate. Watch for it coming out this summer.
This brings up Steampunk. I have dabbled. I love it, but have only so much time to devote to another obsession. I have several stories lined up, and had intended to wait to do anything with them until I get my professional website up and running. But I find, after yesterday I am super stoked with the genre and have to get it up and running. Keep an eye out, I will be adding a page to this blog with shorts.
Now, back to work. I have editing to do!!! But I can’t leave without providing another video. This one brought to you by The League of Steam.
Posted in editing, steampunk, writing | Tagged: editing, steampunk, writing | 2 Comments »
Posted by erinlausten on January 5, 2011
Photo by marie-ll
Words written: 84,090 Currently Reading: Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel
I screwed up. Seriously. Like Orpheus in Hades, I looked back. (palm to forehead)
Never, never look back until you are ready to deal with what you see. I’ve been doing a little brushing up, looking for those things that will make my writing better. Nothing too complicated; don’t want grammar and sentence structure to get in the way of a good yarn. Once the story is down then I can go back and fix what is dreadfully wrong. This method has worked really well. The pace through the manuscript kept steady, my creative mind stayed focused, the story evolved and settled into a decent shape.
However, I am not done. I am almost done. But no, I had to go and take a peak. Just to see what I had in store for the next month or so. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Panic attack ensued. Sleep took a hike and worry sunk its teeth in me like a rabid Chihuahua. (In other words, nothing too bad, but once it starts to fester… bad news).
What did I see that had me in such a fit? After all, I don’t usually have these kinds of fits. I have perfected the blind confidence that allows me to fool my insecurities enough for the job to get done. But here’s what I did. I–stupidly–did a simple Control Find in my manuscript for the word WAS.
It’s ugly. Really ugly. Like put a paper bag over its face and mine just in case one falls off kind of ugly. There are so many WAS’s I could populate a small town. Ok, maybe not a small town. We’re talking on the verge of applying for city status kind of numbers.
It’s going to take a wizard to fix that mess. As I believe Harry Potter and his cronies are too busy living the high life I will have to do. But not until I am done. So, I am off to sweep my misgivings under the rug and finish this first draft. Then take a breather long enough to like my writing again. Ten minutes should be enough? Right?
Posted in editing, Momentum, writing | Tagged: editing, revision, writing | 11 Comments »