Yes. December isn’t over. My self-imposed blogging exile has not reached its termination date. But, you know, I’ve got things I need to say. So …
To my writer friends, I say this … in the next few months, after you’ve posted something about your manuscript that is in need of beta readers and I chime in “I’d love to read it.” Just say no. Here’s the thing. I’m not sure how many manuscripts from other writers I’ve read and edited and commented on in 2013. I know that December has been about doing that for three manuscripts.
Here’s the second thing. For those of you whose manuscripts I’ve read and am reading now, I don’t mind. I’ve enjoyed it. Reading your work has provided me with a break from the pressure of progressing on my own work. December has been all about taking a break. From a lot of things. I have spent a lot of time reading. A lot of time reading. These manuscripts have been a welcome diversion, as a result.
Here’s the third thing. I haven’t written much this month in my self-imposed blogging exile. About 1,500 words on Northville Five & Dime and that’s it. Because, well, I’ve just been reading. I think there was a point right around this time last year when I posted something about feeling like I was a hibernating bear. The hibernating I did last year pales in comparison to where I’ve been the past few weeks.
Here’s the fourth thing. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday. This friend means more to me than just about any other individual in my life. We have a connection that seems so incomparable. I don’t think I could imagine life without the kind of discussion we had yesterday. When I mentioned that I was on the edge. Just absolutely on the edge. In a lot of ways.
Here’s the fifth thing. Just having that conversation woke me up. My friend expressed a concern, a deep, heart-felt concern, about my well-being. And I realized I needed to stop wallowing. I needed to stop. I needed to make something happen for myself instead of waiting for it to happen to me. I woke up.
Here’s the sixth thing. I went for a run last night for the first time in weeks. And I went for another today.
Here’s the seventh thing. I met with Zoe today. She leads the monthly writing group I participate in when I can. She’s the writer who I’m helping publish her works. I shared the first 50 pages of Northville Five & Dime with her a few weeks ago. Today, she provided her feedback, which was extremely encouraging.
Here’s the eighth thing. Northville began as an 1,800 word story. And that was it. Then I submitted it for review at the workshop I went to in Mendocino and the participants had these ideas for the story that intrigued me. Since then, trying to address their ideas, while continuing to tell the story the way I set out to for those first 1,800 words (told in first person from the perspective of three different characters), has proved to be monumentally challenging. Those 1,800 words have grown to 18,000.
Here’s the ninth thing. After talking to Zoe about the story, it’s time to accept this simple fact. The story has much more to it. It’s time to accept … that it may just be a novel. I desperately wanted to find a way to end this story sooner instead of later because there are those other WIP I need to get to. But, no, I can’t. Northville deserves its own time and space, its own telling.
Here’s the tenth thing. That’s where I’m headed now. Wallowing in Northville.
Here’s the eleventh thing. You got a manuscript you need read or edited, please tell me no when I offer to help. For those who I’ve helped or am helping now, please understand I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve learned from reading your work and I wouldn’t want it any other way than taking the opportunity to do what I can to help you achieve your dreams. It’s time, though, to move ahead on my own. It’s time to make something good happen with my dreams. I’ve got one more manuscript to complete and then I hope to take a break from my manuscript-reading efforts.
Here’s the twelfth thing. During my run today, a song came on my IPhone that I wasn’t interested in listening to. I pulled up the Spotify app and, as usual, before I could do anything, the available wi-fi networks popped up. The first one was identified as “FBI Surveillance.” Please, please tell me that the FBI isn’t so stupid that they identify their wi-fi networks by their name.
Here’s the thirteenth thing. I’m gone from here again for at least the next ten days. I want to come up with King Midget 2.0. Something different. A different way to approach this blogging thing, along with the writing thing.
Here’s the fourtheenth thing. I hope you and yours have the Happiest of Holiday Seasons and that the New Year brings each and every one of you the fulfillment of a dream.