Hello, it’s still 2020.
I’ll spare you the ubiquitous “January 2020 was the longest decade of my life” jokes and raise a glass to everyone in solidarity.
Starting rewrites and edits from the beginning is some kind of hilarious because my beginning , a fairly important part of a book to get right, is my biggest mess. I can’t get it to hold up to its importance, so my plan is to revisit it weekly and rewrite it as a “break” between other scenes and chapters. Once I get the beginning good (enough) the rest will flow so much easier, but it’s like strength training. I have to build it up over time and allow my brain muscles and whatever else is up there to rest.
This meant, as it usually does, that the writing suffered and my schedule, which involved getting the first act of my book fully edited by mid-February, was too optimistic. By the third day of January, I was already somehow a week behind, which, while exciting that I somehow have that kind of power over time and space, I can never seem to get that to work to my advantage.
The mutterings and utterings under my breath are usually “Any progress is good progress” and “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.” The tone of those mutterings and utterings fluctuates.
A steady diet of metaphorical elephant is the best way to write.
It’s been a positive, actually, not chasing a self-imposed deadline like this. No “I have to get this much done by this date,” instead giving myself a goal of a certain amount of time per week. Progress may be slower, but the quality will be vastly improved.
Another contributing factor to the novel slight deceleration is that I submitted two pieces this month, stretching muscles that have lain dormant for six months. The thrill in hitting “submit” is indescribable. Whatever happens after that – acceptance or rejection – is almost irrelevant.
Here are some highlights from my month:
- Neil Gaiman reads his poem “What You Need to Be Warm”
- A powerful piece on centering and white fragility
- Is this how we would sleep if we were in hiding?
- Nowhere is it more noticeable than in our history/social studies texts. It was problematic when I was teaching over ten years ago, and it has definitely not improved.
- Do you remember the first time you howled?
- I mean c’mon.
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