Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I was just reading a thread entitled "Output" on Backspace, a writers' group I am in. Yikes. These people do two, three, and five thousand words per day. I make myself do a thousand. And on days that I work in the mornings, I don't do any writing. Sigh. So figure if a book is 90,000 words or so (for me), it will take me 90 days minimum to do the first draft. I don't just tear through it. I revise all the time as I go. Then comes the second draft, and the third, etc.

Stephen King says in his writing book that he "gets" ten pages per day. I can't imagine that, although that's probably 3000 words and my friends do that. I even make myself stop at 1000 because I'm superstitious. I want to have something to come back to next time if that makes sense. I try never to stop at the end of a scene, but in the middle. That way I can get going on it next time without too much angst.

Writing is a strange pursuit. It's a form of self-love, I think, and sometimes self-hate. The thrill and euphoria of creation. Oh, I LOVE LOOOOOOOOOOVE what I wrote this morning. And then three days later the thrill is gone. I don't love it any more. I might even hate it. And so forth.

My, I'm serious today. I have to go out and mail more copies of CG to various publications and hope that they will review it. Publishing is more or less one humiliation after another.

It goes like this:

First you write the thing. That's the fun part (har) There can be some humiliation here depending on who your critique partners are and what they have to say.

Then you send query letters to agents who humiliate you with their rejections.

This can go on for months.

Then you actually GET an agent and have one night of ecstasy.

Then the agent sends your work out to various editors at various publishing houses, who humiliate you with their rejections.

This can go on for weeks or sometimes months.

Then you actually GET a book deal and you have one night of ecstasy. Maybe two.

Then you try to get "blurbs" for the back of your book from well known authors, who humiliate you with their rejections.

This goes on for weeks.

Then you GET a few and you have an afternoon of moderate happiness, because how important is it really?

Then you start getting reviews which can be humiliating (I don't have any yet). People make comments which can be humiliating. People look down on your genre which can be humiliating. I will continue this serious discussion at another time, boys and girls. And now continue with your regularly scheduled program....

Je m'appele Becky

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