Well hello. I’ve missed you.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind and I had to shut down a bit, become detail-oriented…
Sometimes the noise gets too loud and I rush along ramping up until there is nothing left. I took the other route this time.
I like to bake. I like the quiet of it. The precision. I like folding in the banana and chocolate chips into the batter. That cake there? Chocolate chip banana cake with a peanut butter buttercream frosting. Yummo. I finished it at midnight the day before the family birthday party for two of my kids.
I’ve been plugging away at my rewrites, word by word, sentence by sentence. When you bake a cake it makes a difference if you stir in the chips or fold them in. For some reason, stirring makes the chips fall to the bottom. Folding keeps them nice and plump throughout. Folding takes more time. Folding makes a better cake.
I’m folding my words at present. I had been stirring, seeing a sentence mashing it up and around and then moving on. But since I write in the morning, the rest of the day at work it would bother me. I felt as if I had left the oven on. So I stopped.
I know. Me. I stopped. I began to really look at the words and instead of switching around words, I disemboweled those letters until they were completely new. New words, new sentences. Ugly and painful and time-consuming but hopefully, the book will be better because of it.
And now because lists are fun:
Top Ten Reasons Writing is Like Parenting
- The first one is always a disaster. You learn as you go. Either stick it in a desk, or screw the college fund and save for therapy instead.
- The first book is neurotic. The last book is laid-back and going to run the world.
- Books have a mind of their own. Don’t try to shove a plotline in there that doesn’t belong. It will rebel.
- If you do shove a plotline in there that doesn’t belong, be prepared to take it apart and put it back together. See number 1.
- The more you write, the better writer you’ll be. Don’t disengage. Quantity yields quality more times than not. Just keep going.
- A book is made of black marks, then letters, then words, then sentences, then paragraphs, then chapters. Don’t worry about the chapters.
- Think small to achieve greatness.
- Be kind to your book. Sometimes it really is just having a temper tantrum and needs empathy. Avoid the urge to chuck it out the window.
- There will always be people who do it better. And that will always be irrelevant. You are the only writer this book has. Work hard at it.
- When all else fails, tuck the book in bed and pour a glass of wine. Maybe have a bit of cake. Better, right?