Monday, July 7, 2008

Slow Going

I dropped a 250 page manuscript on my editor's desk this morning. The book is far from finished but this was a real step. I managed to put it together in a year while also writing a few long articles and - occasionally - working for a living.

It's far from being done and the writing is mediocre in places but it's starting to come together.

This book was hard to research, hard make the contacts for, and even harder to sell. I gave up on the project a few times but kept coming back to it. I can't say if it's an important subject but it certainly became important to me.

With all the disappointments and failures, I did learn a lot about what not to do next time. Which is why it's good to lose some times.

Still, I don't want to go through that again. I want to write a book where I don't have to interview assholes, travel anywhere crummy, or do a lick of research. I want to write six novels in a year like Philip K. Dick and make up every last word. Of course, Dick ate a thousand methedrine tablets a week produce at that rate - with some anti-psychotic medication thrown in to level out the meth-induced paranoia.


Steve Imparl said...

Congrats on reaching this milestone!

There's really no other way to say it: writing is hard work. You already know that; my affirming the obvious is more for my own consolation.

The editing and revision process is a kind of magic. Yeah, it's work and we humans do it, but I always sense that the process transcends mere reading and writing. To me, it's where much, if not most, of the true artistry and virtuosity show themselves.

In a word, the best is yet to come.

It is indeed good to lose some times. That's true of life, of work, and of sport. The moment of victory, as thrilling as it can be, is far too brief and fleeting--blink, and see if it's still there--to motivate us if we don't love the game.

I hope you'll savor the moment and the sense of accomplishment. Celebrate a bit. Learn what you can from what you did and didn't do, and keep going.

Robot Boy said...

You're exactly right - the editing is the really exciting part. Making it beautiful and tight. Sadly, my publisher doesn't seem to understand that.
I've had no choice but to sit back and appreciate my accomplishment. The last three weeks of high speed writing gave me the flu.

Erica said...

A monumental achievement. Congratulations.

Robot Boy said...

Thank you Erica. but why can't I see your blog?

Erica said...

Perhaps it has been obscured by your impaired sense of smell.

Robot Boy said...

A snootful of salt water and oxycodone will do that to you.