Writing is hard sometimes.
Editing is like… all… ugh, really? No. Ok, yes, let’s do this. No, let’s put it off. Yes, let’s finish it! But like, tomorrow.
I am repeating to myself, “The only one stopping me is me.”
I am reading one chapter at a time.
I am coming across sentences that sound SO SO STUPID and rewriting them to suck less.
I’m asking myself, “Is this what the character would do or was I distracted the day I wrote that and looking for an easy way out?”
I am seriously considering making a graph of what I have accomplished so far so I can feel better about my efforts.
I’m back on Buzzfeed again but good news! The Pretty Little Liar I’m most like according to my PINK preferences is Aria and I just won an Oscar in a parallel universe! And if you’re wondering if I can Buy An Outfit From Lululemon for under $350, the answer is no*.
I suspect the real answer is “What the hell is a lulu lemon?”
I was doing some light reading yesterday in the doctor’s office because my appointment never starts more than 40 minutes late and I only have so much battery power on crappy hospital Wifi when I came across a chapter dedicated 100% to my procrastination. It said*, “Eda, the only thing stopping you from editing your WIP is you.”
*I could be paraphrasing. Maybe.
And while that isn’t all the way true, because I also have things like household chores, chasing a toddler, being pregnant, and working two jobs to contend with, I feel like maybe some of those times when I’m scrolling through Facebook searching for articles that confirm the downfall of the Empire or taking my third “Which pizza topping defines your archetype” quiz on Buzzfeed, I maybe could be editing instead.
I’m not even at the boring part of editing. I’m reading through to make sure it makes sense. I’m reading “for enjoyment” (and continuity). I’m not even proofreading, man. You’d think I could get through it quicker.
It’s a little bit procrastination, a lot of distraction, and a fair amount of guilt holding me back. There ARE, in fact, other things I should be doing. But if I care about this project, I need to make time for it. Writing and self-publishing is a hobby and I’m content with it remaining so but it’s one that keeps me sane so yeah, I need to make time for it too.
All right, writer friends, give me your knowledge! Give me your opinions! Break me off a piece of your Kit Kat bar!
I’m looking into Draft2Digital and wondering what experiences ya’ll have had with it. I uploaded a super short story–for free–and so far:
- Their formatting is terrible. They said they’d format for me. Does that mean taking out paragraph breaks and line spacing to make it difficult to read? Because that’s what they did.
- They provided me with a universal link to my book which goes to a Page Not Found on a site that is not Draft2Digital and I was all, “Huh, what? Back button, back button, where’d my stuff go?!”
- The status is still “Publishing” so it’s not really a surprise that links aren’t working but I can’t… find the thing where it says how long… because KDP tells you and this… doesn’t? Do I have to search the help section for information that should be presented up front?
- I’m feeling like an old person confronted with brand new technology who just wants to shout at clouds and take a nap. This is what I get for trying something new in a hurry while my kid naps on a blistering hot day that swells my feet and clouds my brain.
- SHUT UP, CLOUDS! NOBODY ASKED FOR YOUR OPINION ANYWAY! ZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzz.
Yeah, I know, I said no more Camping while pregnant back in April but maaan… I need to write some stuff. And Camp gives me structure. And graphs. I like graphs. I just took the CampNaNoWriMo survey for April and that was my one comment. “I like graphs.”
I particularly like it when the graph looks like this.
And while I was there, YES I DID sign up for Camp in July. As with April, I’m a little fuzzy on what I would consider a win this time around. I am, after all, still pregnant–more so, in fact–and I did just move to a new house and I do still have a toddler and 2 jobs to contend with but knowing that I’ll also have a brand new child come November and between the old child and the new child and the 2 jobs, probably less time to write, the timing seems right, right?
Maybe I’ll write a short story. That seems doable.
Meanwhile, I’ve only edited the first 3 1/2 chapters of my last WIP. So there’s a project going places! Like to my beta reader with a comment approximating, “Not edited well, not even proofed at all, but I’d really like to know if anyone would possibly give a poop about this story. Here’s 3 chapters.”
Truth? The story seems interesting. The writing seems overly formal to begin with because I began narrating with the main character’s voice. I’m pretty sure I dropped that along the way. Hence the need to edit.
But, you know, whatever, because CAMP in July! There’s a new story to be told and I’m gonna go ahead and get to going about the business of figuring out what that might be!
(After I go to Target. Obviously. I have a new house to buy crap for.)
New plan: Finish this effing WIP and then set it aside before it drives me crrrrazy.
Accept that I will not be “winning” Camp this season but neither will I be packing a houseful the day before closing because I was too busy writing to prepare for the inevitable.
Write something else. For fun. Because this used to be fun before I got stuck in the nightmare of this particular story. Maybe something fluffy and romantic where my “prep” work includes staring at pictures of attractive celebrities and yet more attractive interior design to “get ideas” and “flesh out my characters”.
Nap more. Seriously. Because… I’m pregnant. And there is no work more strenuous that building a human being from scratch.
Who decided that camping pregnant was a good idea? Oh, me? I did that? Whoops, my bad.
I’d like to say I took a few days off and now I’m back with a vengeance but it’s probably more accurate to say I’m back with a short-lived, half-hearted grudge. I haven’t written anything other than work-related emails in several days and it’s not looking like I’m going to get much done today either.
But sometimes when you have two jobs, a toddler, are selling your house, buying another and are pregnant, you have to prioritize doctor’s appointments and three hours of signing legal paperwork over your hobbies.
The good news is that, at least in my own head, I’ve resolved the central conflict of my WIP and all I have to do now is make sure that makes it onto the page in a satisfactory way. Then maybe write an epilogue. Then start the editing process which I will inevitably half-ass (what with all the doctor’s appointments, vendor meetings, and house-related shenanigans) before throwing that sucker up on Amazon before kid number two takes over my life. Which is September. So I have until September to completely finish and let go of this story.
You know, as soon as I get three seconds between meetings and appointments to like, breath.
Here’s where I’m having some trouble with Camp: I don’t know how to set up my project.
Because I’m not starting fresh, I’m finishing up. Because reaching a particular word count isn’t my actual goal but finishing this WIP logically and satisfactorily is. Because I want to finish writing and at least start editing. There’s no, like… button for that kind of goal.
And here’s the exciting part! I may have almost sort of finished the story… in a place that seems a little lazy but might actually be perfect. I won’t know for sure until I edit but there it is. Maybe the ending really is just my MC being like, “Listen, I learned this stuff about life and changed my way of thinking so where normally, I’d be freaking out and making plans to combat the situation just revealed to me, I’m going to chill the frig out, readjust my priorities, and go make out with my boyfriend instead.”
Also, maybe I should write a epilogue. Still, not going to be the 10,000 words (or more) I originally set as my goal. So luckily, I can adjust goals. But still not to “finishing a story and editing the bajesus out of it”.
Camp and NaNo’s stats counter seems more fit to writing something new. Lesson learned.
More blog posts get written when I need to procrastinate than any other time in the history of ever.
I only wrote like, 290 word so far (which is only impressive if you see my stats from yesterday) and they’re not great but I don’t care. I just want to get them out. I just want to finish this damn story.
Part of me wishes I had started something new for Camp NaNoWriMo because I feel like I could be more excited for a new story with new characters that I don’t know so well yet. But I need to finish this one. I NEED TO. It’s driving me nuts.
Why can’t this woman just resolve her issues and move on? Why does she keep talking to me? Why do more things keep coming up? How far have I actually strayed from the original premise? Should I go back or just keep hiking this path and see where it takes me?
These are the things I’m thinking instead of just writing.
I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo hoping it would spark some creative thing in the depths of my brain and getting me writing something new. But the more I hashtag game my current WIP (which was last year’s NaNoWriMo WIP), the more I think it’s worthy of my full attention.
I’m so close to the end! I spent a small chunk of time outlining that B over the weekend and making a list of the things I knew still needed to happen to actually complete the story in a sensical way. I have an idea of how to move forward. I just need to get myself to do it.
And it’s getting a little easier. The kiddo is napping right this second (and I wrote half a page before jumping onto this blog post) and not only am I able to eat actual food in the mornings now, not only can I get myself off the couch and unfurl my tired body, throwing off the cocoon of blankets and oversized sweaters, but I can actually handle coffee again. Well, fake-flavored cappuccino K-cups with foam packets, but it’s caffeine nonetheless and I am starting to feel like a real live person again!
So perhaps instead of jumping into something new, I can spend my Camptime finishing up this WIP and starting on editing. Now seems like the best time anyway while it’s still cold out and before we make any attempt to move houses. I’m also very well aware of the hole I will fall into after the baby is born and survival mode will cut out any writing time.
That’s it, then. FinishThisWIP is where I’m at this Camping season. I’ve already been invited to a cabin full of fiesties who seem like a good time. I’m hoping that interacting with them will help keep me motivated too.
Guess it’s time to change my Camp project, then, eh?
Today my son napped for 2 hours and 40 minutes. Guess how many words I got written in that amount of time! Just guess!!
I ate lunch. I did the dishes. I napped. And that, friends, is a productive day for me. Being pregnant is seriously harshing my vibe, yo. It’s crushing my spirit. And my bladder. And with a minimum caffeine intake, there’s no more magic elixir to keep me up nights (or days, apparently) writing my heart out.
I’m over here like, thank God I’m not puking my heart out because that’s the best I can expect these days.
Any other pregnant writers out there losing their groove?