Warning: the events you’re about to read have been exaggerated for dramatic effect…but not by much.
Hiatus: Day 1
Whew! Took time today to relearn my kids’ names and straighten the house—who knew the dust bunnies would unionize!—and mow the lawn. All this time we thought the puppy had run away. Turns out he was just lost in the yard! He growls when I come near now, but seems none the worse for wear. Suzy and Bill…Phil…er, something like that…are thrilled.
I’ve evicted the mice nesting in my hair, brushed my teeth and even flossed. Go me! Now for an entire blissful week in which I use all that “free time” I’ve dedicated to writing for important things like paying bills and doing the dishes which have started cultivating new life forms.
Hiatus: Day 2
Bright shiny new idea calling to me. But no, no, I must resist the lure. Off to the mall with the kids, who need school supplies. Can Bill…it is Bill, by the way…really be going into fifth grade already?
Hiatus: Day 3
Hot new idea would not leave me alone. Kept trying to go to sleep last night and popping out of bed to write down this thought or that one before it disappeared. Learned through experience that if I wait until morning, I won’t remember the former flash of brilliance. I’ve put my notes in a safe place and WILL NOT look at them until next week. Now to make dinner.
Hiatus: Day…oh, who am I kidding
This is torture! Every single day that goes by that I’m not writing feels like a day I’ve accomplished nothing at all, life is passing me by and someone else will write my brilliant idea before I get to it. Even found myself plotting on my iPhone during Iron Man 3 until the man behind me complained about the glow from my screen.
Writing: Day 1
I’m determined to remember personal hygiene this time. I WILL shower daily. I will brush. Flossing is optional. Let’s face it, making the bed is right out.
Bright shiny idea is all consuming. This is the best idea EVAR. I will be as successful as Stephenie Meyer, Steven King and Oprah. Especially Oprah. Hollywood will line up to option my idea and I will finally get to meet my heartthrob, Hugh Jackman, at the premier, who will, of course, fall desperately in love with me, but refrain from leaving his wife because that’s just the kind of guy he is. It will be beautiful and tragic. I’ll probably get a novel out of it some day. But right now I’m completely focused on my latest and greatest.
Writing: Day 10
I’ve given the kids my credit cards and set take-out restaurants as their first five speed dial options. It’s really saved me a lot of time in the evenings. As awesomely exciting as my concept is, the plotting is…torture might be overstating things, but not by much. I know what I want to happen, but HOW? Aye, there’s the rub.
Writing: Day 30
Carpal tunnel is flaring up, but it’s all totally worth it. I have a spiffy synopsis and chapters to show to my writers group. Can’t wait to see what they have to say.
Writing: Day 31
Stupid writers group.
Writing: Day 32
Okay, maybe they have a point. I tore apart the whole three chapters and half the synopsis today and rewrote them from the ground up. Started to anyway. I think they’re going to be much, much stronger.
Writing: Day 35
Yup, much stronger and I’m now completely embarrassed that anyone ever saw them in their original form. I’m considering stalking my writers group and taking them down one by one to eliminate all witnesses. (Note to self: consider cutting down on caffeine and forensic shows.)
Writing: Day 95
Saggy middle. No, not mine, though that’s not looking so hot either. Somehow, while applying butt to chair does wonders for your productivity, it sadly doesn’t do the same for your butt. Anyway, I was on a real roll. I’d hit my stride, had the voice down cold and BOOM. Novel has diverged almost completely from my initial synopsis because the characters kept insisting they wouldn’t do this, they’d do that. Now I have no idea know what happens next. Waiting for them to tell me. Might have to wrestle them for control. (Yes, I do know how weird that sounds. No, I don’t need the men in white suits to come and take me away. Though I reserve the right to change my mind on that at any time.)
Writing: Day 100
Writing: Day 190
It took me months to get this far, but now that the end is in sight, I’m writing faster and faster, more and more. I have trouble focusing on the things I should be concerned with…like the fact that the kids have maxed out my credit cards. My characters have a better social life than I do. All I can think about is finishing this gosh-darn book. See, I am a good mom. I cleaned up the language I wanted to use just in case my kids ever find my writing journal. Must get this book finished even if it kills me.
Writing: Day 200
Success! Or, at least, The End. I think it’s good but have no perspective anymore. If the puppy declines to pee on my printed pages, perhaps I’ll know that I’ve made it!
I can no longer find my bed, it’s so buried in marked-up pages. Bribed the kids into keeping up the house this time. Sort of. Son says he didn’t realize that “doing the dishes” meant the even ones that don’t fit in the dishwasher. Pots and pans have that funky smell again. Oh well, when this book hits big, I’ll be able to buy new.
Writing: Day 205
Read the novel over with an eye toward revision. It sucks, I suck, everythings sucks. Suck, suck, sucky, suck. Suck.
Writing: Day 230
Revised the heck out of the novel, rewrote certain chapters from the ground up. Took out an entire point of view that was going nowhere. Wrapped up loose ends. Cleaned up commas. I even found sections that didn’t entirely suck. Now to actually make the kids a homemade dinner before I give it another pass. Everything looks better after lasagna.
Writing: Eve of Day 230
The kids are in food coma. That’s coma, not comma. I know the difference, because I are a writer. Dude.
More tweaks, but I’ve decided the novel is pretty good after all. Maybe good enough to send to my agent.
Writing: Day 260
Agent read it, loves it, but…. Apparently, the buts take two or three pages to delineate. Downed half a bottle of wine. Will tackle revisions tomorrow. Where did I stash the barbecue potato chips?
Writing: Day 261
I might as well revise today, because after indulging in vino and barbecue chips, I’m certainly not going anywhere else. Wait, is that a crumb? Mine!
Writing: Day 291
Back to my agent. Even better now. Have decided not to off my writers group because I may need them again soon. A new set of characters started speaking to me last night and won’t shut up. Your kids look at you strangely when you start talking back to the characters in your head, so you absolutely have to give the characters buds and a plot and all that jazz so they have something to do beyond drive you nuts. But first, I think, I’ll take a week off to catch up on all the house stuff I’ve been neglecting. Yesterday I walked around barefoot and almost stuck to the tile in the kitchen. I lost a layer of skin peeling my feet off the floor. Probably time to mop.
Hiatus: Day 1…well, you get the idea….
Once sold, add in revisions, line edits, copy edits, promotion and other time-sinks.
(Full disclosure: actual insanity levels may vary.)
Lucienne Diver is a long-time book addict, literary agent, writer, mom and sun-worshipper. Her young adult vampire series began in 2009 with Vamped and continues in September 2010 with Revamped, following the humorous adventures of Gina Covello, fashionista of the damned.