Tuesday, March 04, 2014

More fear of revisions

The Man said again, “I find it hard to believe in all of these years you still haven’t published one book.”

I stared at him, still unable to conceive how Mr. Drama can say things like that. He doesn’t see all of the accomplishments I have achieved. He sees the one I’ve always wanted but haven’t completed. He doesn’t see that he has done everything in his power to make sure my every minute had a claim on it so I would be forced to back away from my work. 

My English prof said, “Authors don’t work on just one project at a time.”

I thought, “That’s true enough. But if they want to be published I think they must need to focus on just one at a time.”

A while back I told you I had discovered a way to write a rough draft with a beginning, a middle and an end. Every time I go shopping I look for inexpensive (OK, cheap) journals with pretty covers. If they have 120 sheets of paper that means 240 pages of handwritten story! And I’m getting that pretty down pat, in my opinion.

Now I am at the next hurdle: editing/revising/rewriting. Why am I so afraid of this?

More than 20 years ago I wrote a children’s picture book for our twin daughters. My mother read it. She thought it could use a little tweaking. This sounds familiar. Did I already talk about this? Long story short, what if I can’t edit, revise, rewrite? What if I’m not smart enough to do it?

This morning I devoted 2-1/2 hours to working on a new story in a new journal. When the time went off I set it for 20 minutes more to wrap up the day with my characters in that story. I plan to do the same tomorrow and each day after that until it is finished.

After lunch I worked on the article for my paying gig. The executive director that I report to at the agency emailed me yesterday to say she was thinking as she finished reading the most recent article in the newspaper. She noticed on her Rolodex that she hired me March 16, 2000. At 50 articles per year she estimated more than 650 articles and other publicity could be credited to me. The articles have directed a lot of people to seek assistance to find their way to a healthy lifestyle. She said she hopes this will continue.

I told her about once a year I think, “I don’t want to do this anymore and I need to tell Eloise.” Then I am past the moment and good to go for another year. I don’t make a great deal of money doing this job but I don’t want to let go of it, either.

Supper is behind me now. I’m going to set the timer for 2-1/2 hours and work on revisions/rewriting/editing Belle and Sam’s story. The first step is the hardest, right? Stephen King could make this a lot easier for me if he would offer to spend six or eight weeks tutoring me through this process, but I don’t think I will spend too much time waiting since he doesn’t even know I’m a writer!

It’s not likely that I will get done everything on my to-do list for today, things like planting tomato seeds, pepper seeds and soaking heavenly blue morning glory seeds. Nor will the dusting and vacuuming carry me past a successful white glove test. But today still will end productive. 

© 2014 Cathy Thomas Brownfield ~ All Rights Reserved. This blog may not be reproduced in any way without the permission of the author.

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