Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I...just...can't... @Liz Flaherty

I must admit, I wrote this post a few years ago, for Word Wranglers. I wrote it because I needed to. Because of that one line down there. "I...just...can't." I'm not in revisions right now; what I am is in the middle of a contracted book and having a heck of a time finding my way out. I'm using this post today to prove to myself (and others if you need it, too) that I've felt like this before--and probably will again--and that there is another side to this particular fence.

Oh, my gosh, I love revisions.
          Last week and the week before, when I talked to my editor—a couple of times; he had a lot of things to tell me—I kept saying Really? in a squealy, whiney, don’t wanna do it voice. I know I did. Not that I’m proud of that particular voice, but since I’ve been hauling it around my whole life, I may as well own it. And I said, at the ends of these conversations, “Okay, I can do this. Thanks for the help.” And then I hung up and looked at my laptop and said Really? in a squealy, whiney, thankfully silent voice.         
          Then I went to work. And I have had, it must be said, some of those stone days we talked about last week. I have stared at the screen of my laptop until dust motes danced merrily before my eyes before settling into the bunnies under the desk. I have chewed my thumbnail down to an uncomfortable nub. I have done laundry before I had a load, washed dishes by hand, and cooked meals when there were leftovers to be had. I have thought, I can’t do this. I may as well call and renege. Because I...just...can’t.
          I also had some days that were diamonds. I had lunch with friends, dinner with friends, saw some of my kids, went places with my husband, sewed on my youngest grandchild’s quilt, and laughed every day. More than once. And I wrote some, revised some, thought Maybe this will work. Didn’t call and renege or even want to.
          And then there was this morning. It is Sunday, when I never work on the manuscript, when I look at Facebook and email and maybe work on the Word Wranglers post and then go to Sunday school.
          Except today I didn’t go to Sunday school, because all of a wonderful sudden, it worked. No maybe about it. Nope, it really worked. This does not mean my editor will be as thrilled as I am. He may say No or Try again or What were you thinking? I can’t control that. But for now, it is fist-pumping time, because of course I can do it—I just did!
          I love revisions.
          Have a great week!

13 comments:

  1. LOL.....I think I've mentioned this before...

    Back in 2009, when I was editing my 1st official contracted book, my editor sent me note:

    "I know you have a better ending than this...."

    I sat. And sat. Kept coming up blank. So finally I snarkily wrote, "And they lived happily ever after." Take THAT, Chuck! I sent it off, got up from my desk, took literally five steps and suddenly in my head I heard my heroine say, "So is then when you tell me we'll live happily ever after?"

    BAM! I had my better ending. Went back to the computer, emailed Chuck to disregard last email, and rewrote my ending. We had a good laugh over it!

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  2. Liz, loved your post.

    There's something magical that happens just when we think we're dead in the water. Just mulling something over for days on end makes our brain finally spit out the answer. Go for it! You can do it.

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    1. Sometimes it is a single magical moment that keeps us going, isn't it?

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  3. My agent is the person who delivers most of my "I don't want to hear it" news:) She always does it in a charming way. I always go into a tailspin and fuss and worry. But somehow, my brain saves me. Good luck with your book! It will get there.

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    1. Thanks, Judith. My editor usually talks me down--after he talks me up!

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  4. Great post, Liz. I've been there!

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  5. Gosh, we've all been there. Thanks for the encouragement. (But I don't see how anyone could love revisions.)

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    1. I do, though--it's the only time I'm even fairly sure of what my editor wants. :-)

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  6. I've never minded small scale editing and revision, but getting those requests for big changes just makes me crazy! Just goes to show, no job is perfect.

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    Replies
    1. It makes me crazy, too--obviously--but must admit it usually makes a better book.

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