Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 80: I Open The Red Pens *Dun, Dun, Duuuuunnnn*

I thought that when I finally finished my first draft it would be all unicorns and rainbows. The heavens would open up and shine down upon me, warming my writerly heart with relief.

Yeah, not so much.

I felt deflated. I felt scared and worried. Here I have this thick stack of utter crap which I must now polish and coax into a shimmering diamond. What the hell have I gotten myself into???

There are whole side plots that I know I want to add and I haven't even created them yet. I'm starting to lose confidence in my first five pages (is it really writer suicide to begin with a dream?). And on top of all this, I have to write the most amazing, spectacular query letter and a synopsis. I have to research agents, which is kind of fun at first but quickly becomes intimidating. I'm not even going to talk about all the mother/wifey stuff I still have to take care of. (But you just did talk about it, Leah. Yeah, I know. Hush.)

After discussing all this with the DH (who is completely amazing, BTW), he said, "Go take a hot shower and don't think about it for a while."

See, I have a theory about hot showers. I was watching Food Network one day. They were doing a special on spicy food and this scientist guy comes on and says something like, "The reason people like spicy food is because when the heat hits our mouth, the body interprets this as pain and sends out endorphins to help us handle it." I believe the same thing happens when you take a nice, hot shower. I believe this because during that shower I thought something I hadn't thought in weeks.

"I have a good idea. This is a good story. I just need to improve it."

Later, after everyone passed out, I grabbed my newly printed stack of utter crap, opened the brand new pack of red pens, and began reading. Next thing I knew, it was forty minutes later and I'd practically covered five pages in red ink. Let's see, 187 pages divided by 5 is 37.4, 37.4 times 40 minutes is 1496 minutes which is 24.93333333333 hours. This shouldn't be too bad.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes I freak out but in the end I know that I just have to do the thing that I'm freaking out about and get over it.

Suck it up, Miller! You better get back to reading every post on QueryShark and EvilEditor! You continue to stalk all those agent blogs! And, for the love of all that is holy, don't be afraid to strike through that entire sentence you slaved over last month because it just doesn't serve the story!

Good work out there, Miller, now hit the showers.

*As a side note, I'd like to give a big shout out to Myra McEntire whose blog is great. To know that she's about to release her first novel and it wasn't long ago that she was dealing with the same things I'm dealing with now, well... It just makes me feel a ton better. Plus, she's hilarious.


  1. I agree with you about hot showers!

    I think if you can avoid starting with a dream do so at any cost!

    I haven't finished my first draft yet, but I already feel those crazy emotions you've described, specifically the "pile of utter crap." Just keep pushing ahead. You can do it, you've written a novel for goodness sake!

    Congratulations, and good luck!

  2. Thanks, Michelle! Good luck to you to :) We can do it!

  3. I'm in the hot-shower-club too. Some of my best ideas were in danger of frying my laptop, since I was still dripping wet when I had to write them down. And yes, NEVER give in or give up!

  4. I think once I'm done with mine (seems like ages from now) I will probably not look at it for at least a couple of weeks. That's usually what I do when I finish a piece. Then I go back and shriek in horror when I see how I single-handedly dismembered the English language. :)



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