Sunday, June 15, 2014

Last Leg of the Marathon

This past Friday afternoon, I threw on a sweater over my tank top and yoga pants (yes, unbelievably in Chicago, I still need a sweater in June) and headed to the grocery store for provisions; a three-pack of popcorn (my favorite food to unconsciously snack on),eggs, bread, cheese and crackers (my other favorite food to wonder how I ate so much of while I wasn’t looking) a stack of frozen pizzas and a box of Skinny Cow ice cream cones (you know, to balance out the pizzas).  

You see, I was locking myself in for a long weekend of writing to the finish line. For over a year now, I’ve been revising (rewriting. Okay, writing) my next release, “Every Breath You Take.” It’s been a long, excruciating road, but I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel and fortunately, it’s not a Mack truck bearing down on me.
The truth is, I’ve been writing this book for 20+ years. I first had the idea for this book back in high school and wrote it in dribs and drabs before finally settling down about twelve years ago to write it in earnest. Then I kept writing other books and life got in the way and it languished on my computer.

When I decided to go Indie, I knew this would be one of the books I would release and honestly thought it would be a matter of dusting it off and revising it. Done and done.
Well, I started that, but about halfway through, I realized I was wholly unenthusiastic about what I’d written. I still believed in the basic story and the characters, but nothing else about it moved me.

So, I went back to the beginning and started rewriting it.
Except, I was kind of like Patrick Swayze in “Ghost.” I was a hanging on to a story that no longer wanted me.
Sometimes, you have to listen to Kenny Rogers
 
So, I started over again, but this time in earnest. Page one. Clean slate. New mindset. Fresh take.
Except, I still wasn’t hitting the nail on the head, as confirmed by my First Reader, who said the entire middle part just didn’t work. And as I read through it, I realized she was 100 percent right.

So, I dumped about 150 pages of this 300 page book. Yes, I deleted half of my book. Bye-bye lovingly crafted sentences and moments of so-called brilliance and inspiration. It was real. Let’s not do this again.
And started over yet again.

Finally, it started to click. The story started talking to me, the words started flowing and I got it. I finally got it.
And here I am, with about a half a page of notes left to incorporate into the manuscript before final polishing and beta reading.
And sometimes, you have to listen to Journey
 
Some people would say I should have heeded the Gambler’s advice and known when to fold ‘em. Maybe. But my gut wouldn’t let me and you should always follow your gut, because it never steers you wrong. So, I chose to listen to my inner Journey instead and kept on believin’. Time will tell if I really did hit the nail on the head this time around, but at my core, I (finally) wrote the kind of book I want to read, which is what you should always do.
And now, back to the marathon

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