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Note to Self: Keep Going

The Uninspiring View

The view from my couch is not inspiring.  It’s raining on top of several feet of old snow out there.  I dropped off the car for new tires before Rini’s garage opened and walked home in the rain, over ice, falling once.  So far today, I’ve revised one page of Book 3, and I can already tell: it’s going to be work this morning.  Looking at glamour photos from the Oscars last night is not going to help, nor will going to dig up my stealth supply of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies from the apron drawer.  I’m still going to have to work.

In some ways, I was more desperate to write when I could do it only one-handed while breastfeeding, or when I was writing in 25-minute lunch time chunks between classes.  Now I have enough time to write.  Now writing is all I do, frankly. Normally, I have a sense of gratitude and I grasp clearly that what I do today is part of completing a year-long project, which is further connected to my ability to sell other projects and earn my life writing on the couch.  Normally, I love writing, and often it is a total, fascinating joy.

But some days, it’s not.  The people in this scene make me tense and fearful, and I don’t want to be with them.  I’ll probably make more cuts than additions in the next few hours, and words will come in chunky bits, like they have for this sentence.  None of it will be fun or easy.  Nevertheless, I’m going to do my revising, all day long.  It’s not that I have any special gift for self-discipline.  I have a job, and it’s time to get to work.

7 Responses to Note to Self: Keep Going

  • I remember those days when you wrote between naps and we longed for leisurely stretches of time to ourselves…. But I disagree. I think your view is wonderfully inspiring. and the warmth and energy of your household will feed you whether or not the little ones are crawling at your feet. Just as the warmth and energy of old friendships continue to feed…. Patience, my dear. Be kind to yourself. xo

  • You’ll find your groove today! Perhaps a cup of tea would help.


  • Catriona ~
    Thanks, sweetie. Nice reminder of the warmth and energy. Will you please move in next door?
    LA ~
    You were right. Instead of with tea, I slogged along just fine with a bit of Itzhak Perlman, and now I’m stopping. Thanks!

  • Figuratively, I wrote Monday off as Monday. I stared at a blank screen in an empty file (perfectly formatted for the start of Chapters 9-12). Nothing came. Except Tuesday, and then I was back in action. I’ve averaged 1200 words a day over the past couple weeks, and am building momentum as I write this first draft. Today I’ll finish the Chapter 9 I started yesterday, when my word count topped 22,000. What do they say about putting one foot in front of the other?

  • Davetta ~
    Yep. There is much to be said for plugging away. It sounds like you’re on a roll.
    All best,

  • I still write during school. ^_^; My big project is here on the computer, but the short one I’m doing is all hand-written. It’s odd, I started it two years ago, put it down, then picked up around last September. I’m almost finished with it. I never expected to go anywhere with it.
    Keep going! I’m sure you’ll eventually get all the hard stuff out of the way, and your ultimate goal will be achieved. ;)

  • Jule ~
    So true! How great that your project is progressing, too. I think we’re on the same team.
    All best,

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Upcoming Events

September 14, 2014: We'll have a launch for The Vault of Dreamers at the UConn Coop Bookstore, Royce Circle, Storrs, CT on Sunday, September 14th at 3:00 p.m.


September 16, 2014: The FIERCE READS TOUR begins as Ann Aguirre, Marie Rutkoski and I visit Anderson's Bookshop in Downers Grove, IL on Tuesday, September 16th at 7 p.m.


September 17, 2014: The FIERCE READS TOUR continues with a stop at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH on Wednesday, September 17th at 7 p.m.


September 18, 2014: The FIERCE READS TOUR continues. We'll be visiting the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, MA on Thursday, September 18th at 7 p.m.


September 19, 2014: With the ongoing FIERCE READS TOUR, I'll be visiting Books of Wonder in New York, NY with moderator Emmy Laybourne, on Friday, September 19th at 6 p.m.


September 20, 2014: The FIERCE READS TOUR continues with a visit to R. J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT on Saturday, September 20th at 6 p.m.


September 21, 2014: I continue with the FIERCE READS TOUR, visiting Towne Book Center & Cafe in Collegeville, PA on Sunday, September 21st at 2 p.m.


September 22, 2014: The FIERCE READS TOUR continues with a visit to Politics & Prose at the Bethesda Library in Bethesda, MD on Monday, September 22nd at 7 p.m.


September 23, 2014: The FIERCE READS TOUR will wrap up with a visit to Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston, SC on Tuesday, September 23rd at 5:30 p.m.
Check out the second leg of the tour with other FIERCE authors Gennifer Albin, Nikki Kelly, Marissa Meyer, and Jessica Brody.


October 2, 2014: Tui Sutherland, Dayna Lorentz, Kristin Cashore, and I will be on a panel moderated by Jim Shepard about Writing for Young People at Williams College in Williamstown, MA on Thursday, October 2nd at 8:00 pm.


October 3, 2014: Tui Sutherland, Dayna Lorentz, Kristin Cashore, and I will visit Northshire Books in Manchester, VT on Friday, October 3rd at 4:00 pm.


November 15, 2014: I'll be visiting The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN on Saturday, November 15th at 4:00 pm.

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