Did you ever feel like you were being pulled in several different directions? January has turned out to be an incredible fast month in the book department. I am working on manuscript review, author photo and cover art approval. I am simply overwhelmed.
The manuscript review is very challenging for many reasons. First, I am a perfectionist with a creative mind. This causes many problems on the technical side. I have been reviewing the manuscript for two weeks and nothing satisfies me. I am overly critical and driving myself crazy trying to find the perfect words.
Second, I am frustrated at my “rookie”mistakes. How can I write something that changes POV and not catch it? Where did my usual detailed descriptions disappear? Some parts turned into tell instead of show. I am frustrated and upset and you know how well life goes when these emotions rule.
Did you know that your brain knows your manuscript so well, it will read it to you while you think you are reading the actual words? Yes, the manuscript sounds perfect in your brain, like you are watching it on film. That is exactly how my brain works. It all began in second grade. I remember it like it was yesterday…no maybe last week. Dick and Jane had the most wonderful time jumping over the fence until Mrs. Schimmel stopped me and told me to go back and read each word. Who needs simple prose like “Jane jumped over the fence?” I thought she should leap with great joy and show Dick he is not as cool as he thinks he is. I digress, I am now reading the book out loud to listen for any discrepancies. This exercise alerts me to hearing repeated words or missing words in the sentences.
On the positive side. My two test readers loved the book and both wanted to know more. They were very helpful writing opinions and letting me know what can be improved. I found this exercise to give me hope. I was most encouraged to learn neither one of them were historical fiction readers. I feel accomplished to have moved their interest to a new genre. I appreciate both their talents and honest opinions.
Staying on the subject of great news. I have been invited to speak about the Civil War using the characters in the book. It is a great exercise for the students to learn about the war that they won’t get from a textbook. I am delighted to share the story and help them understand there is two sides to every story.
I think the one thing I miss most this month is the opportunity to sit down and simply write. I now have a part-time job that takes me away from all of the writing I was doing before. I miss the blog and I miss writing for another website I had been working on. The creative writing as an everyday activity has defined me more than I realized. I miss creating new materials.
Thank you for patiently waiting for another post. I will get things going once I clear my plate of these important projects. During these times I am reminded of what my mother always told me. “God does not give you more than you can handle.” I agree, but God knows I am an overachiever and is testing how far I can go 🙂
Back to the editing board. I will remind myself to enjoy this process, because I only get to write my first book once. Have a great week everyone!