No Pepto for Me, Thank You!

“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” Steven Wright

This quote randomly popped up Monday morning when I posted my blog on Scary Mondays. When I first read, “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done”, I started to laugh, at myself more than anything.  In some ways I miss the “good old days”, those early efforts to write my first novel. I had a good writing foundation. As a press secretary and stringer for a local newspaper, I’d written press releases, Op Ed pieces, campaign literature, and newspaper articles. So the blank page didn’t intimidate me. I just sat down and wrote the tale rattling around in my mind.

But back then, when I began that first book, my mind wasn’t cluttered with all this  writing “stuff”–target audiences, shameless self-promotion, blogs, Facebook (well those didn’t exist back then), landing an agent or pitching to an editor. I just wanted to tell a good story that someone other than my family and friends would read. So I blithely puked out my first draft.

As writers we’re supposed to learn our craft, perfect it, and  be savvy businesswomen, seeking balance in a profession that is both art and a business. Yet some days all that writing “stuff” just gets in the way of my creativity and I miss being able to barf up a story like I did back when I didn’t know any better.

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10 thoughts on “No Pepto for Me, Thank You!

  1. I miss it, too, Lynn. But I don’t miss the embarrassment I lived through when it came back from editors/agents/critique partners and I learned what all was wrong with it.
    Oy.

    • I don’t miss the embarrasment either, but I’d love a little more balance. I need to get back to writing with the door closed, as Stephen King says. Then once my baby has been birthed, I can let it out into the world.

  2. Amen, sister! If we lived in a perfect world, we would only have to write the story and cash the checks. Then the book fairies would take care of the rest!

    • I want a book fairy, Jackie (Can you hear me whining LOL). Oh wouldn’t a book fairy be wonderful. Of course, once I had a book fairy, I’d need a housecleaning fairy, a laundry fairy, and a mow the lawn fairy….

  3. True! Just recently another writer friend of mine said he decided to write some poems just because. He had no intention of trying to sell them, and didn’t care if anyone else liked them. He read these to our critique class and they were delightful…filled with small people who lived under houses. Not the homeless…but sort along that same line. What fun and what wild imagination. And of course, the first thing I did was tell him how to use these commercially.

    It was an interesting thought, and I’m pondering it. But, first, I’m finishing the storyboard I’ve started in an effort to staighten out my own plot problems.

    Hugs to all,
    Jackie

    • Jackie,

      I love putting aside my current WIP to do something completely different. That’s what has been fun about Scary Mondays, sometimes I post flash fiction, then a poem, or I just write about something that’s been on my mind. Writing on Sluts has been another great way to keep my brain from getting lazy. Stretching the ol’ writing muscles is fun and I think it gets us out of the doldrums.

  4. Wasn’t it great to just sit there and let your mind dance all over the page? Then you learned the “stuff”. Ugh But I have to tell you, I LOVE your writing! You pull me right into the story and don’t let me go. Now I want to see it in print! (hint, hint) 🙂

  5. Someone told me a long time ago: learning the craft is vital, but as far as the business stuff, you’ve got to have good marketable product before you can start selling it. The story is the important thing; everything else is afterbirth.

    I love King’s idea of writing with the door closed. It definitely results in better material for me.

    • I’ve become a huge fan of writing with the door closed. My end product is better, my writing happens faster, and I’m a happier writer. Just wish I’d figured out I needed to return to that writing model about 18 months ago. Ah, well, live an learn.

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