Day 31- Extensions

I’m writing this at the dining room table amid half eaten pizza and dirty dishes. Friends are still here chatting, drinking, noodling on the guitar. Now there’s singing. I needed this time with friends. Friends who remind me not to be so hard on myself. Friends who believe in me because they believe in themselves and I in them. We’re lucky to have found each other in the world. My draft isn’t done. I avoided it all day. Self sabotage mode. I don’t feel like it. But I never feel like it. Not when it’s so close to the end. So tomorrow I will complete it. Little piece by little piece. My goal is to research and write query letters in the next week.  I’ll just have to do revisions along the way too because of the foot...

Day 30 – One More!

Just one more day to finish my final draft of the picture book. It’s coming along. It still isn’t where I’d like to to be, but such is life. Do the best you can, then send it out into the world. I’ll start sending queries to agents February 1st. I’m going to keep my expectations low that way even the slightest positive response is a boost. But truth is, I’m sick about it. The hair pulling and pacing is in full swing. I don’t even know how to write a query letter. So that’s number 2 on my To Do List, number 1 being finish final draft and three try not to die in the process. Here’s to first attempts and hopefully failing gently instead of miserably. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage...

Day 29 – High Maintenance

Writing is a high maintenance activity. You wouldn’t think so. It doesn’t take a lot of space, very few tools are required,  and it can be done almost any place. So all it takes is a pen, some paper, and time, right? Yes and no. Writing also takes a shit ton of mental energy, the focus required is excruciating at times. Maintaining it, protecting it, is a difficult job and one I’m not particularly good at. Seemingly inconsequential choices can throw me off for an entire afternoon. Like choosing to have a side of mashed potatoes for lunch instead of salad or drinking too many cups of coffee too late in the afternoon so I’m  so lit I can’t sit still and my thoughts are too fast and twisty to wrangle. Or the culprit today, a walk cut...

Day 28 – Progress

Good things are happening. For me and for my friends. This week a friend was accepted to a writer’s workshop. Emails back and forth read just omg omg omg and squee squee squee before we could get to anything coherent out. As for me, writing is getting done. My children’s book has been reborn. Nobody is going to mistake this version for an incestous love poem and if they do, I can confidently say the problem is on their end this time. Writing this week was more peaceful, largely due to a tweak in my process. I took the idea from a Maile Meloy interview I listened to on YouTube. Instead of sitting down to write 10 pages a day, Maile sets a time limit. She will work for a set amount of time and that is her only goal. She doesn’t sit down and say,...

Day 27 – Companion Books

The strange, tiny woman wearing strange, tiny glasses at Book People did me a great service talking me out of buying Jeff Wolfe’s book and into buying Ann Patchett’s Truth & Beauty. She said I’d never regret it. She was right. I’m only a third of the way through and I am overtaken. By the story, her voice,  her everything. With each page, I’m more prepared to sew this title into my heart of hearts and call it companion. Few books make it there. Out of a lifetime of reading only 5 have been deemed companions. Books that are forever friends, guides to life you can call on again and again and again that never fail to show you something new the world or the way forward again after you’ve lost sight of it.  I missed this book...