But more importantly, quiet. And coffee. Especially coffee, but mostly just an hour without children clamoring for attention. Good news on that front! Wee-er Dave will be rocking mornings at the local Montessori next month when Wee-Dave starts preschool. I’ll get them up, fed, and dressed (cold, dead, and lifeless hands, non-Oxford comma heretics!) and to their respective
babysitterslearning establishments, and then I’ll have a blessed three hours(ish) to write. Every day.
I’m so excited I can barely sit still.
And after Mom and Pop Dave’s visit (it’s been a rough week since they left. I’m the only authority figure the littles have to rebel against, so I’m catching ALL THE GRIEF) I know I can just drop into the writing as soon as I get the chance. And the space to be somewhere besides home. This last seems to be key for me. No distractions, no chores, and all the food is stuff I have to pay for, which is a deterrent to gobbling flakey pastries I don’t need to be eating in the first place.
This came up in conversation last night (not the pastries, which I still don’t need to eat) and it bears repeating: You don’t know the worth or quality of your own work. Something about writers (and other artists, to a lesser degree. Maybe) is we are inveterate meddlers. It comes of creating worlds ripe for
destructionconflict, and then taking the people living there and putting them through umpteen kinds of hell. There is no paradise so delightful that we can’t figure out how to start a war, just for the writing opportunities.
But: inveterate meddlers. We can’t leave well enough alone, is the point. So there’s always one more pass to get the manuscript tight and polished. Always another scene to get that character arc just so.
Well, knock it off. Finish it. Once it’s finished, it’s done. And it’s good enough to move on to the next project. Do that one, and apply what you learned on the work you just finished. Do too much “editing” (some of which is legit, most of which isn’t) and you’ll just polish the life out of it.
Oh, and for you in the back – I saw you come in late – you’re already a good enough writer to publish. All of you are. Get your story to a couple of people you trust as readers who won’t just gush (Mom Dave would tell me if she thought it was crap. I’m pretty sure). People who read in the genre you’re writing. Take their opinion. I have to do that. I don’t think I’ve ever been satisfied with something I’ve written. Not because I don’t think it’s any good (it’s gotta be *some* good, right?) but because I’m a writer, and messed up in the head. But I repeat myself. And so I trust the people around me who read voraciously, and who write.
So finish things, trust people, and keep writing. Wear your publisher hat when you need to. Think about investing in an external editor (your internal one is probably a jerk. I know mine is. I keep him chained in the dark, and only feed him whisky and shreds of my own soul) if your readers express significant concerns. And don’t spend too much time revising. Unless you’re doing a complete rewrite or your readers start sending you nasty-grams. Let somebody else’s head hurt over your story.