Archive for the ‘motivation’ Category

Writer’s Remorse

October 13, 2011

I’m at this stage again where I am not writing. I’m thinking about it, but I am not typing anything. I read about other writers, good and bad and get jealous. Jealous that I am not as successful as they are, jealous that they are getting press and I’m not.
So jealous, so riled up, it’s almost enough to make me sit down with my manuscript that is not so terribly far from finished and well just polish the damn thing and fill in the missing scenes and complete it once and for all.

But then the phone rings. The kids come home. An email message beeps. Another responsibility/ diversion takes over and I do not open the file.

A friend of mine had taken an acting class around the time the Blair Witch Project came out. “I could do that,” was the sentiment every actor had said. And the teacher replied, “Yes and the only difference is they did it.” And I’m not doing it.

I look back with regret about the amount of time and opportunity I had to write more and I did not. Because the phone rang. The dog needed to be walked. An email message beeped. Another responsibility/ diversion took over.

I have a 101 ideas. I have a 1001 ideas. I need help executing. Entire buildings have been constructed in the time it is taking me to complete a novel, and not even something that aspires to be a literary masterpiece.

I’ve run marathons. I’ve given birth two times, once to a nine and a half pound baby. I’ve bought and sold real estate, begun and settled lawsuits, filed estate tax returns, renovated apartments, leased spaces, fostered amazing friendships, stopped talking to friends I considered family, taken writing courses, remained quasi-current on my photo albums but I have not finished my novel.

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Back in the Groove

September 23, 2011

I have not been writing. Anyone following my blog here or Milf Alert can clearly see that.

I have a million and one great excuses – realistically probably a thousand or so – most of which are legitimate (i:e planning a birthday party, moving furniture, pregnancy, the doctor telling me to rest more – although this could be perceived as a motivation, a new nanny and so on), but none of which will help me finish my book or keep the creative juices flowing.

And there are plenty of decent motivations that should help me through this hump.

I think about my book, even ordered two books that seem remotely related to mine. One of them, Posh is proving to be unreadable. One would think that seeing a poorly written published book would motivate me to finish mine and seek a publisher. One would think.

I rearranged my home office, and actually have a decent desk, albeit under the staircase, and now have some surface area to work. I no longer have a door to my space so my kids have been rummaging through the drawers spilling paper clips, emptying the shredder and running off with my wrist rests. On the upside, I do feel on top of most of my office paperwork that needs attention.

Frustrated with my nearly eight year old laptop and intermittent battery, I splurged on a new macbook air, opting for the lightest computer to reduce any excuse about not wanting to carry around my bulky laptop. I’ve had a few minor hiccups with it and as a result I’m not entirely certain I want to keep it, so I’m hesitant to install Microsoft Word on it (Yes, a $1,000 plus dollar computer still requires additional basic software), as I’m limited to the number of installations.

Before I completely embrace my new computer and apply the cover which allegedly scratches the computer surface upon removal, I need to spend time on the phone with customer support. Finding a few moments when the kids leave me alone to make the call and play on the computers is usually after bedtime when I am tired, hungry and likely angry from fighting the bed time battle ritual.

Editor Speak

June 28, 2011

I had my conversation with the editor regarding my book. As I had mentioned I’m was not totally keen on the comments I had received.

Microsoft Word shows when comments were made and I could see that she might fire off three comments over five pages in a span of about 1-2 minutes. There were typos she should have caught including me referring to the wrong character, of course you could argue that I should have picked up on it myself but I was not hired as an editor and typos in some of her notes.

Some of her ideas were cheesy and cliched. She’d add a line like “I felt his hot breath on my neck and I just wanted to go home and get in bed with him.” I had mentioned nothing about sex and if I did, I would have done so in a classier or at least more original voice.

She also cut out some great dialogue, really snappy endings. But hey, I’m the writer so I get to put it in.

We had our telephone consult today and I feel much more encouraged. I defended my desire to use multiple point of views, something she had nixed. Understanding my perspective, the editor suggested I do it more and begin it earlier creating consistency. So I will.

In all I feel more encouraged, and still slightly overwhelmed. While the edit was not a panacea to get the story in sellable shape, it will spawn more writing and editing.

She warned me I may have another draft after this one. Sigh. But I think she said this so I do not get all hung up on making the next draft *perfect* as opposed to getting it done.

The secret to writing is writing and rewriting. I imagine if I sit down and do it, and with two kids at camp I definitively have time. I also imagine that almost every writer has done this, write edit repeat.

I’m in good company.

A New Commitment – Sort of

May 24, 2011

I was supposed to attend a book selling seminar this past weekend. Since I’m such a commitment phobe I waited until the last minute to register – which in a parallel universe would have meant the class became full before my check arrived in the mail. No such luck. Instead the check cleared and two days prior my back went into total spasm. For those fortunate enough not to know about real back pain, I can just say that is a new level of agony. I felt paralyzed in pain.

So I missed the class, check is cashed. I’ll have to retake it later.

However, I have decided to hire a book editor to help me with my novel. I have the rough draft but not the concentration to proof read it and make the changes necessary to make it into a sellable book (the likes of which I would have learned last Saturday had I not been in bed popping Tylenols). The editor will not read all of my ramblings, loose character descriptions, or edited scenes. She will go through my draft, line edit the grammar and help me fill in scenes and story development.

I do fear that I am looking at this as a bit of a panacea – I pay editor and poof! my manuscript becomes marketable. I know more work lies ahead. It’s just a kick start – financial because the editor is not cheap and motivational because I will have a road map on how to improve. I have to imagine this is a better course of action than taking a class with an unpublished author where I spend the majority of my time giving feedback to other unpublished authors with the occasional day that said writers offer their opinions on a short excerpt of my tome.

I asked the editor if I should make some of the minor changes I had made on paper to the computer file I will send her and she gave the best answer, if I can yes if it is going to hold me up, no. She doesn’t have time to read the book until June which means I have the next few days to hunker down and edit and hopefully develop a good work habit for the summer. Worst case, I don’t and her job as an editor involves correcting a few more typos. Either way, I have to believe I am moving forward.

Writer Competition

February 15, 2011

I get so jealous when I hear of another writer working. It’s unfortunate that I do not channel this competitiveness into writing my own story.

I have dusted off my tome and think about editing it but I have not done so.

I can rationalize and say that it is resistance stopping me, but it is not enough for me to sit down and work.

It’s a shame because I am happier when I write and feel productive.

I’m doing other things like working on my real estate business but I’m not writing.

Hitler had studied to be a painter. He found it easier to go to war and kill millions than continue to paint.

I want to be the person that is introduced as having just finished/published a book. I’ve talked long enough about being a writer and writing, it would be great to have something tangible to show for it.

Writer’s write. I lament.

I can’t use my previous excuses of having a newborn or losing my mom anymore. I have help and I cannot two years after the fact use the loss of my mom as an excuse.

I am building a bathroom in my apartment because I had gotten sick of talking about it and wanted to do it. I feel the same way about writing, but I just can’t hire someone to do the work for me. I suppose I could hire an editor or a mentor or even carve out time to do my work. I just haven’t yet Perhaps soon I will tire of excuses and get back to the thrill of writing. That would be nice.

Tina Fey Fantasy

November 11, 2010

I like Tina Fey. In fact I think she is brilliantly funny, talented and frankly I’m totally envious of her career. As great as she is, there is a narcissistic part of her that thinks I’m equally as funny and talented as she. Maybe not today, as she has honed her craft over the years, but perhaps we had the same skillful seeds within us.

And I have such an ache in my heart for the writing I am not doing and the success I do not have which I attribute to the fact that I am not disciplined enough. A liberal psychopharmacologist readily prescribed me Concerta, a medicine for ADHD which I would have downed by the fistful ten years ago, I think. Now it makes me slightly speedy and feels like cheating. But if it got me to where I wanted to be…But I have not taken it in months so I remain unqualified to speak to its verity and powers it may or may not have had on my once budding writing career a decade earlier.

Two nights ago I dreamt I left a dinner of preschool parents to tell Tina Fey of my passion for writing and how much I wanted to be a sitcom writer. “I know, I know,” I said when she asked me if I knew of the demands and the salary. In my dream the salary was paltry and I dismissed the demands not thinking of my husband and kids. She told me if I really wanted to write to prove it to her and she told me to write a spec script for what seemed like the Pamela Anderson sitcom but then evolved into 30 Rock.

I sat in her office or apartment which had an incredible view of the pyramid at Museum of Natural History and some bluffs (it was a dream) until three in the morning as she guided me on plot development. “Now write it for tomorrow,” she said scribbling her phone numbers.

I hesitated briefly then acknowledged that success required sacrifices, including but not limited to postponing sleep or hobnobbing with the class parents. I felt empowered, opportunity within my grasp.

And yet I still have not looked at the rough draft of my novel hibernating on my computer.

When I awoke in the middle of the night last night, I briefly debated if I should seize the quiet and fire up the laptop. That thought lasted but a minute.

Writing is like exercise, the more one does it, the easier it is to continue, the better one, or at least I, feel and then it becomes addictive. While I can satisfy my sugar cravings, I cannot satiate this one.

Room for Improvement

September 27, 2010


As part of the Left to Write blog, I was given a free copy of Room by Emma Donoghue. The book has generated some hype recently, but I suppose a write up cover of the New York Times Book Review section will do that. I began the book late this weekend but given some fervent opposition to the book by my fellow bloggers and the late arrival of said novel, I did not finish the story narrated by a five year old boy locked in a room with his mother.

I feel badly for not completing the book, or really reading more of it. When children are pulling off their diapers sitting in wet cribs and screaming bloody murder, a book must be engaging enough to maintain my attention. Of course, as part of the Left to Write blog, I don’t have to write a report, merely a blog inspired by the book. And if I don’t? I can’t imagine my imaginary mommy friends in the blogosphere will disown me. Will you?
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End of a Chapter

June 17, 2010

I’ve been writing for NYC Mom’s Blog, a site for mommy (and daddy) bloggers, part of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog. In many ways I felt like an impostor on the site.

I’d write my minimum two posts a month, sometimes even sneaking in a third and read about *real* mom bloggers who offered giveaways or generated income from their sites. And me, I’m just a mom from New York who would really like a book deal and manages to squeeze in a bit of writing here and there. When my mom passed, I debated keeping my bimonthly commitment to the site but forced myself to do so. In writing the posts, I found myself revisiting my other blog sites, this one and Milf Alert.
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The Void

February 4, 2010

I have not looked at my tutoring novel in over a year. Sure I have a great excuse: my mom got sick in India and died. But that did not last all year.

Oh, and I had a baby. But he just turned one and is beginning to walk.

All of the responsibilities I inherited from my mom are feeling under control and I have the time and I’d like to think the mind power to return to my novel. Writing will fulfill this void I’m feeling for not being creative.

The secret to writing is writing.

It’s just finding the time to do it.

I know I’m lucky. My husband never questions the amount of hours I have help and wants to see me happy. Writing makes me happy. Ergo, my husband wants me to hire the nanny so I can write. And exercise. And rent the property. And ensure the house is clean. And our finances are organized.

I just have to break the seal and go back to the novel. Here’s a novel idea: reread the skeleton of the story that I had two Thanksgivings ago.

I’m like a dieter complaining she’s fat and she can only eat fast food and has no time to exercise.

I’m over 30. I’ll never be in an article – 30 under 30 to watch. Maybe 30 over 30. or 40 under 40.

Slowly, Slowly returning

January 19, 2010

i haven’t looked at my novel in over a year. Once again, my mom’s death derailed me. I’m slowly getting organized with Quickbooks and gaining a better grasp on managing her business. The estate return was accepted. whoo hoo! Apparently an estate audit is awful so I’m thrilled to avoid that.

I’ve been thinking about my novel. I’ve talked about it. I’ve even purchased an out of print book that has a similar theme as mine. I haven’t opened it, but it’s on my shelf.

I’ve been reading more too. Joined a book club and have been knocking about books with a frequency that makes me proud. Not as proud as if I was writing that regularly.

Baby steps. At a certain point i will have to stop cutting myself so much slack. I heard Ricky Gervais say that he was slothful until he was 40 when he turned into a workaholic. So that gives me 9 more years to be drag at the writing and continue getting a grasp on motherhood, my mom’s business, my real estate business, and all that other jazz that inhibits me from writing.