Back From the Dead.
Man, that move… hurt. It seemed so easy on the one hand, but then on the other?
Hell. Simple. Hell.
Anyway, I am happily done moving, and am getting the place all set up and settled. ALWAYS more things to buy than you think will be needed. Thank God for Ikea, my home away from home. Actually, I go for the meatballs +5. Where else can you get those damn meatballs? Of course, I need a Xanax to deal with all the blue and yellow and crowds and the steady stream of items called things like THROM, DUNKIN, or KINGSPLAT.
However, it occurred to me, as I was unpacking and missing the blog, that a good thing to talk about would be working. Working hard under difficult circumstances. I’m a real homebody, love my little hobbit hole, never want to leave it, etc, and here I was moving, and right in the middle of a rewrite, too! I needed to get this rewrite finished, too, as I have to turn it in soon.
It was, to say the least, stressful.
However, I kept at it, everyday, slogging through pages when I wasn’t slogging through mounds of clothes to pack or papers to recycle (I’m one of those guys who, in order to clean a surface, just pushes everything into the nearest drawer and voila!). Finished the draft with a week to go before move day. There were some nights I did four chapters, some that I edited only one, but I kept working, kept going…
And that’s the key to the work: keeping going. In order to succeed at this thing, you have to keep going, working all the time. Another online acquaintance of mine just signed with her first agent today, and man I can’t tell you how happy I am for her (GO JEANO!!). She’s worked hard to get there, trust me; a mother of a couple kids, volunteering, working… the whole nine yards, and in the middle of all that she still did her pages. Religiously.
That’s how you do it, that’s how it works.
You keep on keepin’ on. I really believe that if you keep at it, good things will happen for you. It happened for me. I taught myself to write, flying through drafts like flying through toilet paper (er, sorry!). I finally learned, after like my third book, to slow it all down and EDIT (Hello!?!??). I sent out queries, and worked through the whole plague village of steps towards a good synopsis, and on and on, etc.
It will happen. Trust me on this one.
Commit to your pages. I work six days a week when I’m doing a first draft or editing a current book (I’ve probably told you this before, sorry). Between drafts, I’ll take off anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks, but never longer, probably because I just love to be working on my book. You’ll find your own schedule, sure, but whatever schedule you DO find works best for you, commit to it. Religiously.
Now, get to work!
And a big shout out to the great Sophie Littlefield, whose book Banished just arrived in your local bookstore yesterday! She’s another one who manages to balance kids, home, and work. And man… does that woman work! Congrats, Sophie! Buy Banished!
Oh, and if you’re in San Francisco? Go to Bouchercon!