Thursday, May 16, 2013

Really Bad Writing Advice: When in Doubt, Stop Writing! (In which I obsess about Afterparty, because that’s why I’m not writing.)

So there you have it, the perfect solution to all that stress, self-doubt and mining the unpleasant recesses of your soul, such as it is: stop writing!

And here I am at the perfect moment to stop writing. Afterparty is about to go to copyediting! Yes, it is! (Yes, I know I said something a lot like this four drafts ago, three drafts ago, two drafts ago etc., but this time I mean it.)

I am obsessed with how many days there are until January 7th, when it comes out.

That would be 236 days, gang!!! (Did you know you could google “How many days until January 7th?” hundreds of times and get the ever-changing correct answer daily? You are open to so many new and exciting learning experiences when you’re not writing.)

Anyway, while ordinarily I have things like deadlines, commitments, and a sense of desperation bordering on chronic panic, now I am obsessed with Afterparty instead. How much I love the characters. How pretty the cover is. How much I long for a blog tour with character interviews with these characters I (quasi) channeled to the point of (quasi) psychosis. The impending ARC’s. How gorgeous the cover is.

I mean, who the hell can write while fondling a book jacket?

The point is, there are many, many things you can do while not writing that are absolutely impossible while writing, such as fondling stuff. Or watching the Sad Cat video every few minutes. Also, you can dig out your house. (This is not a metaphorical use of “dig out.” I have large pieces of furniture I can’t see because they’re obscured by even larger clumps of dog hair.) You can remove the spots where Pilot pens, yellow markers, and snack food have stained the otherwise lovely writing sofa.

You can have conversations with your husband that don’t start with, “Read this!!!”

You can be so obsessed with what you just finished that the prospect of hitting new walls seems a whole lot less attractive than it did back when you were hitting those old walls, given that this new thing is in the shitty first draft (Thank you, Anne Lamott!) stage of development. Whereas the thing you’re obsessing about is finished.

And while it may be true that winners never quit, quitters get (or at least have time to think about getting) manicures. Which you can totally get while obsessing about your finished book, but not while writing. Higher calling. Cuticles. Higher calling. Cuticles? Oh what the hell, just this once, cuticles win.