confessions / first-drafting / novels / writing / writing spots

The Book Isn’t Done Yet and the Delicious Panic Sets In

I have less than two weeks to finish the first draft of this new novel. I’m going to make it this time. I know there will be rounds of revision after this, so I really should let go and turn this in. But… yeah… I need the story to have an end first.

While I finish this draft, I’ll be away from Twitter and Facebook. I’ve turned off notifications, so I won’t see Facebook messages or Twitter DMs until the draft is done.

That will likely be Tuesday, September 6.

I’ll see emails though.

In the meantime, this is what’s been going on with me:

• My emergency writing retreat was a great success. I revised a section, wrote a good chunk of new pieces, and plowed ahead into the blank expanse. While there, the novel topped 70,000 words. The secret was going away with another writer—a writer I admire, and a writer who is also on deadline. We kept each other working and I’m stunned at how much I got done in just three nights. The other secret is being in a place where you have to pay for internet access. I refused to pay… and without wifi my mind was wonderfully cleared of static so I could write.

• Even so, the book isn’t done yet.

• I am going to the 2012 AWP Conference in Chicago—I’ve registered, booked a cheapie plane ticket, and even got a hotel room. Will I see you there? Guess what sold me on going: the keynote speaker. Did you know that Margaret Atwood made me want to be a writer? Here’s a post I wrote about Cat’s Eye some years back.

• I love how I keep distracting myself with future things like this when the book isn’t done yet.

• I am also going to another artists colony! I’m excited to say that I got accepted to the Djerassi Resident Artists Program for 2012, and I’ll be spending a month there, in the Santa Cruz Mountains outside San Francisco, this spring. I can’t believe it!

• Too bad I’m not headed there tomorrow, since the book isn’t done yet.

• I got my first-ever tattoo yesterday, a single word on my arm for my sister, in memory of our trip to Paris, and for our connection to each other. She was getting it first and I wanted to match hers, so yesterday we had them done together.

• And I’m really feeling it now. The panic… because I know I’m so close, because I have such grand expectations and I don’t know if I can fill them, because I worry if this new book will meet up to the book that came before, and, of course, simply because THE BOOK ISN’T DONE YET.

See you again once it is!

3 thoughts on “The Book Isn’t Done Yet and the Delicious Panic Sets In

  1. Good luck! I know you can do it–and so do you. But pushing away from the Internet may be just the thing. Cheering for you!

  2. First, I adore Cat’s Eye. And I’m planning on going to AWP (my first time) but hadn’t looked into it at all…so I didn’t even know Atwood will be there. Thanks for making my day!

  3. An Emergency Writing Retreat. That’s a great idea. Congrats on your acceptance into Djerassi Resident Artists Program for 2012. I’ve been to San Francisco twice–once for the VONA writer’s of color retreat and a for a reading I did in 2004 at the North Beach Festival. Those two times I really enjoyed San Francisco. Their literary scene is pretty cool (shout out to City Light Books).

    Good luck on the book. I haven’t had to deal with the sophomore book fears (my first collection of poems comes out in January, and I’m excited). Now, go get that book done🙂

Comments are closed.