For my readers who are not writers, bear with me. I’m wearing my writer’s hat today. Boring maybe. Necessary, definitely. And I promise that next week we will talk about something really fun. Cooking, sex, chocolate, wine, movies…I’m not sure. Let me surprise you. : )
Wonder which word got to him? My bet would be cooking. Hmmm? Wonder when he’s going to shave or get a haircut?
I’ve always been fascinated with how the mind works. While we might kid ourselves that we know who we are and how we work, our mind will often surprise us. This past week I had a ton of things to do after arriving home from RWA National conference. I was met with a revision letter on one book, a notification that final edits on another would arrive in ten days, and I had four or five submission requests from editors and agents. I made a list: a very careful to do list that showed the time frame for when I would complete these requirements. I figured the revisions letter needed a solid week. But I really didn’t know because I hadn’t had one of them before. I factored in the following so that I would not overextend myself:
Add an extra day for each child you have. Check. Kids are independent, so no need.
Add an extra day for husband or S.O. Again, no need.
Factor in the day job. Well, I’m retired so writing is the day job. Not needed.
Add in an extra day for animals in case there is a day to be spent at the Vet. No need. Goldfish don’t go to the Vet. : )
Factor in one day for an unexpected invitation. No need, any person who wants to go to lunch or dinner in 110 degree weather is not worthy of getting a day on their behalf.
Factor in a movie. Nope. I’m waiting for the next Meryl Streep movie, so I’m free and clear until mid-August.
Factor in one extra day in case I get a bad headache, a stomach ache, a sinus infection. So far that’s the only thing needed. One extra day.
Eight days total. That includes one hour each morning for social media and general fooling around while having breakfast, a one hour trip to Curves for a workout 3X and on alternate days, a swim, or riding the indoor bike while watching the Olympics, and it even allows for flopping on the couch after six p.m. Marketing and housework…done. Beauty treatments put on hold, (who cares about chipped nails and gray roots…we are writers damn it.) So, during those eight days I figured there would be only the occasional light clean up and laundry, and ducking out to pick up a pizza, chocolate bars, or an extra bottle of wine. Yeah, I factored in the odd reward or two. : ) Okay, so piece of cake, right? Wrong.
I was three days in to the revisions and making great progress when I came to a screeching halt. I’d gone back so deep into my characters that I kept thinking about their archetypes. I blame the Barbara O’Neal and Robin LaFevers workshop at National for that. I knew my heroine had the archetypal journey of the orphan, but the more I thought about her the more I wanted to go deeper to make sure. So I ordered a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book to my Kindle. Just to take a look at a story they’d referenced in the workshop. I got hooked. On second thought I’ll blame SEP for the sidetrack. It wasn’t this book, which I also loved, but one of her earlier ones. That’s us at a book signing last year.
Anyway, I spent the afternoon on the couch. Then I finished the story by reading until 2am. The next day I was useless. Finally, I got back to the revisions and they made so much more sense to me. But for future manuscript revisions, I’ll factor in three days for reading a book.
‘Cause you never know, and the mind, yeah, it works in mysterious ways.