I’m standing in my office, the time is just after 8:00 in the morning. For the first time in what feels like forever I have an entire day to do my job. No contractors. No household / domestic distractions. Just work.
Hell, I can’t even do laundry since the dryer isn’t hooked up yet. (I mean, I can but it takes ages to sort everything after the wash and hang it all on hangers from the shower curtain rod, laziness shall prevail.)
So, I’m in my office at my standing desk doing the one thing that allows me to procrastinate on my job without feeling too bad about shanking it on fiction editing:
Writing this blog post.
Hey, at least I’m still putting words on the page. Even if they aren’t the desired words.
I go through something similar to this every time I write a book. And I justify the break in momentum by calling it my “process” or that “stepping away is a good thing because I can come back refreshed.”
I’m writing this right now, aren’t I? So technically that means I don’t have to abandon writing in order to work within my process.
Calling it “the writing process” is really just a fancy way of saying “I just did a lot of work developing entire worlds, people, out of absolutely nothing so my brain needs a fucking vacation and no I really don’t care that I just took a vacation 6 weeks ago because I need this.”
Picture back of hand on forehead, woe is me, overdramatized pity party. Because apparently that’s exactly where I’m at right now.
But it’s high time that I get shit back in gear.
I typed ‘The End’ on draft 1 over 3 freaking weeks ago. Between construction madness, contractor chaos, and general life needs, I’ve managed to do everything other than work on my book for the past three weeks.
Either of my books.
You see, I wrapped draft 1 on two manuscripts this summer – Reckless Mind book 3 in my Shaw McLeary Mystery Series, and Carol + Chad 4-eva! Book 1 in my soon-to-be launched California Dreamin’ Series.
I wanted Reckless Mind to be released this past March. I even put it on business cards I ordered last fall that it would be out in March.
Turns out, March was the time I needed to open a new document and start the entire manuscript over from word one because the thing just wasn’t working out.
And now the finished draft is doing its own version of tubing down the Salt River on some hot day in July. It is having too much damn fun getting drunk and sunburned, shirking responsibility, to realize it still has work to do.
Put down the beer, manuscript. We have a few more weeks to go before you get to just sit there doing nothing. That doesn’t happen until after I post you for sale on Amazon. Sheesh, learn the order of things would you?
This is the part where I always seem to struggle. I know I have to edit now. I know this is supposed to be the fun part. I also know this is the time to get excited because I’m so close to release.
But like any dedicated author knows this is also the dreaded time of conundrum.
As authors we tend to run around saying things like: “I can’t wait to get this book done and finally out there, I’m just too afraid it won’t be good enough so I’m not sure I want anyone to read it!”
Walking conflict. That’s a writer for you.
I wonder if this shit ever fades?
Like, does James Patterson sit around secretly trying to decide if the book is good enough? If the story has enough tooth to really feel enjoyable to the reader? Or does he write so fluidly, effortlessly, after all these years that he’s long since let go of that fear and releases books with little to no drama?
Honestly, I hope to find out someday. Which of course means I have to release the freaking books, right? I mean, hello? Without more books I can never release more books.
Ugh. Stupid process.
Sure, it would be easy to blame my lack of action on the fact I have 23 kitchen cabinet pieces sitting in my living room, that my laundry area has no drywall/walls, or that I have contractors by the dozen in and out of this house either bidding or doing work.
But if I let those things distract me from finalizing either of these books for the market then I’m just a chump. Because it isn’t like this is my first rodeo. In fact when Reckless Mind is released (someday) it will be the fifth book self-published with my name on it.
Reckless Abandon and Reckless Hearts are already out there not being read by anyone new since their release.
I even have Creative Writing Kickstart on the Amazon shelves, collecting dust after the one copy I sold since it was released.
So why am I so hesitant to just sit down and edit this damn thing? Get it done. Release the fucker and be done with it so I can move on to the next project then finish that too?
As an old friend used to say, what’s my glitch?
Truthfully? I have no idea this time.
In the past it was fear – fear of what people would say about my writing, or worse, fear that nobody would say anything at all.
I’m not afraid that nobody will read it. I have all 10 of my loyal and awesome readers ready (begging me to release this one). And I know all 10 of those phenomenal people will also review the book for me.
I’m not afraid of what people will say. In fact, saying anything, even that you hate the thing, helps me out. Not a lie. All press is good press, right?
Truth be told, I can’t sit here all day writing this blog post. And I’ve rambled on for way too long already. So long, in fact, I’ve moved my location to the living room since starting to write this thing.
It’s time to do my real job now. It’s time to get over the inner procrastinator, put this post up, and start editing Reckless Mind.
See you all next time I feel the need to procrastinate.
So, maybe, tomorrow?
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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.