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Writers, you need this book

"Writers, you need this book."

That was the tweet from my friend Sue last Monday morning. Ordinarily, "Yeah, yeah, whatever" would be my response, because I have never gotten anything of out of books for writers.

I'd done a whole ritual thing the previous night, officially hanging up my keyboard and admitting defeat. I'm not a writer. I have all the free time in the world and I still don't write. I'm a fake, and it's time to quit kidding myself. Restraint is never going to get revised or submitted, and I don't have another novel in me.

It was supposed to be a relief, but it wasn't. It felt funny. I didn't like it. I went to bed saying, "Okay, Universe, you're gonna have to talk louder because I am not getting the message."

So when I woke Monday morning to find Sue's tweet, I heard the Universe talking. I clicked the link. I bought the audiobook version--right there, still lying in bed. I started listening to it on Monday afternoon.

Tuesday I put in four hours of solid revising. Ringer off, social media shut down, timer going. Via another tweet (on my 15-minute lunch break), I found a professional editor.

Wednesday, five hours. I heard back from the editor.

Thursday, nine hours. I hit the 30% mark in my revisions. I sent a sample to the editor. We struck a deal. I have a deadline.

Friday, Saturday, yesterday, today: I get up, I get dressed, I put on makeup, and I go to this new job of mine. I start at 1:00 pm sharp. I don't check my email, I don't look at my phone, I don't do chores. I write. Sometimes I come back after dinner and put in a couple more hours.

I've finished revising 26 chapters in a week.

It's like a fucking miracle.

Writers, you need this book.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2014 08:10 am (UTC)
Fantastic!! I'm so glad the Universe in the shape of Sue called that morning, because I felt sad when I read "Restraint is never going to get revised or submitted, and I don't have another novel in me." Talk about a happy ending!
Jun. 12th, 2014 03:55 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm making tremendous progress. I'm supposed to submit the whole manuscript to my newly-hired editor on July 1 and I actually think I might make it!
Jun. 15th, 2014 12:57 am (UTC)
Just checked out the audiobook from the library! Thanks for the recommendation! That's amazing progress!
Jun. 15th, 2014 02:21 am (UTC)
Excellent! I love it when my local library has an audiobook I want. Isn't it great to check out digital materials?

I hope you get something of value from the book. It's certainly making a difference for me.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 02:33 am (UTC)
I'm so very, very glad for you! Sounds like I need this book, too, as I start writing things and then rarely see them through to the end.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 04:25 am (UTC)
It has certainly changed things for me. I think much of what he says applies at least as well to the visual arts. I'm not totally sure that it's as useful as he'd like to think to, say, a startup entrepreneur, but in general, it's an inspiration for taking your work/calling/vocation seriously, regardless of how much or whether it pays money. That was really useful to me.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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