These days, I admit to feeling more than a little guilty if I’m not spending every spare minute I have working on my book. Which is not to say that I do spend every spare minute working on it, just that whenever I do something other than write (which is often), I feel as if I’m somehow betraying something. That I’m not really a writer. That I don’t want it badly enough. That the idea isn’t compelling enough to try to get out on paper.
But then I look at what I’m working on, and it looks like this:
There’s the version that lives on the computer, and the sections of it that I print out twenty pages or so at a time. I cross out large chunks of it and write in between the lines what I think belongs there instead. When I run out of space, I write on the back of the sheet (unless I’ve printed it double sided) or move over to my notebook, where I make a note of what page of the manuscript I was on before I made the switch. Once I get through a twenty-page chunk of manuscript, I start typing it all up again and move on to the next section.
In the meantime, the edits to those twenty pages exist in a sort of limbo where they’re not saved and backed up anywhere except on paper. Whenever I leave the house with them in my bag, I think, if I got mugged, would I ask for the notebook? Probably. If the office were on fire or there were an active shooter, would I grab the bag with the pages before running out? Likely. There was a guy in the news recently because he ran back into a burning home to rescue his computer, which had the only copy of his novel on it. No cloud storage, no backup disc; is he crazy? I thought at the time. Now I’ve got these twenty pages at any one time that I would risk going back for.
So maybe I do want it bad enough.
Wow, you made it all the way to the bottom. I’m hoping that means you got something out of this. If you know someone who might also find it interesting and fun, not stupid or boring, please pass it along. And if something struck a chord with you, good or bad, email me. I actually love email. Thanks!