The tug of war is back in play. The resting phase of my WIP ended on July 15, an arbitrary date I picked so I’d have a deadline, since I can count on myself to adhere to those. The next day, I opened the thing up on the computer, saved my most recent draft as Version 4, and then swapped and revised the first two chapters. Having cut the first 25 pages the last time round, my starting point had improved, but it still didn't feel quite right. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. On the surface the pieces seemed like a fit, until I looked on the back side and understood I had forced the match. Over the previous six weeks I let the thing percolate in my brain until finally, the brew solidified and I knew what I needed to do. Now, the cardboard blends seamlessly.
This week, I am printing the draft out, twenty pages at a time. I see so much more when I am not staring the screen, and this allows me to reread for big picture issues as well as rhythm, flow of language, and typos, which will forever be the bane of my existence. Next round, I’m sure I’ll find a million more.
In between this, and that four letter word, “work,” I'm trying to move forward on a new story. Thankfully, I'm scheduled to present pages of this project once a month at my bi-weekly writing group, or I'm not sure it would still be alive. The topic is deeper and and more difficult than anything I've written to date. Every word feels like I'm slogging through an overgrown jungle. In truth, I'm not sure I'll ever get through to the clearing, but each month, when it's my turn, some how I stumble on.
It took much less of a struggle to pick up another magazine article a few weeks back. This one comes attached to a moral victory. As many of you are aware, I’m not good at selling myself. My two previous articles in our regional lifestyle magazine (see above, on the right) were handed to me by the editor (about which I’m entirely grateful.) The idea for this new one simmered on the back burner in my mind since January, until finally I got up the gumption to pitch it via email. Less than two hours later, the editor offered me the opportunity to write the feature. Although it won’t be published until 2013, it has an end of season deadline to ensure photographer has time to capture good photos, and I’m working on it now.
All this is to say, while I’ve been a poor blogger this summer, I’m writing, and moving forward, and hope you are too.
What are you working on this summer?