Sunday, February 28, 2016

Writing Your Way Out of Hibernation: Don't Quit!


Behold! I have emerged from the Writer’s Den refreshed and at long-last finished with phase 3-million of the major rewrite. I’ve sent it to beta readers, received their approval and now my baby lies in the more capable hands of my outstanding editor, Heather Webb (check her out, she’s fabulous!).

My apologies for being gone so long. I had to really commit myself to finishing this project. As I mentioned in Digging up The Dead: The Tale of The Manuscript That Wouldn’t Die, reviving the dead is no easy project and this manuscript was DEAD! It still looks something like this...

But that is what I’m writing this blog about…

As writers, we hear it all the time, “Just stick that horrible manuscript in a drawer and write something else.”

So I did that, right? And my ghostly characters called me back. They swore they weren’t dead and they wanted their story told. So I've slogged away for months and here’s what I’ve learned in the process.

  • 1.      Writing improves with time.

  • 2.      It’s extremely difficult to correct a billion mistakes in one manuscript.

  • 3.      It’s hard letting go of writing that you once thought you loved.

  • 4.      Remember to NOT make the same mistakes in the future.

  • 5.      Every character has a mission (or should) and at least one that you love must be sacrificed.

  • 6.      It’s worth the effort of rewriting a manuscript just to see how far you can go.

I know this manuscript is far from perfect (cough-cough UNDERSTATEMENT), really. I still see a lot more that needs to be addressed (enter the last round of edits) and I’m sure my editor is finding a gazillion more issues for me to fix (which is exactly why I so desperately need her expertise). Because when I’m done, though I still won’t have a perfect book – and when this old story finally sees the light of day I’m sure it will have its fair share of criticism – but the point of doing this is that I didn’t quit! 


It wasn’t easy to pick up that mess of an old manuscript and face my own poor writing demons, but I did (okay, there are a few still in there, but I’m really hoping Heather will exorcise them!) and I’m glad I did. It gave me a chance to look at my writing objectively, the same way I look at someone else’s work-in-progress and think wtf? What was I thinking? I was finally able to see what everyone else was trying to tell me (yes, Heather, I know. I hate chapter two also).

And that’s why I am so glad that I’ve committed to finishing this project, no matter how painful. This is the learning experience of a lifetime (one my degree could never teach) and even if this series won't be perfect, they’ll be something I can be proud of simply because I didn’t quit. Now, the next time I write from scratch I won’t make the same mistakes I made before (I’ll make new ones) and all of my future writing will be better because I suffered and slaved and patchwork quilted this thing back together. 

After ripping her apart and stitching her back together so many times this is pretty much how I see my beautiful heroine now.
My advice to you, if you’re just beginning this writing journey, is to really make sure the project is dead TO YOU, before locking it away forever. The manuscript might still never see the light of day, or maybe it will, but it doesn’t make the best-sellers-whatever, the point is…if that manuscript is still calling your name, then it has something more to teach you. 


Pick it up, dust it off, and give it another coat of elbow grease before you decide to let it die. You’re the only one who can truly know your manuscript and what you’re capable of accomplishing with it. If you don’t want to give up, yet, then don’t. That way if it still ends up without a pulse, at least you’ll know you did everything you could to save it and hopefully you learn some new CPR tricks. 


What's next for me? I’m tentatively planning to do a cover reveal for Search (SEEK Part 1) on April 1st (depending on how bad my edit letter is) and a May 1st release (of course, those dates might change! *bites nails*).   

You can find updates on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, right here at Addicted toWords, and