Day of Reckoning – Editor’s Comments Due Today

Today’s the day I’m supposed to hear back from my editor about my manuscript.  Have been looking forward to this day with intense excitement and dread for 3 weeks now.

Not sure what time I’ll hear from editor, so have been sitting at my desk with eyes glued to Gmail tab for over 3 hours already.  Every time the number of unread emails listed on the tab jumps from “253” to “254” (yes, I realize that’s a lot of unread emails and I should be better about deleting SPAM from my inbox), I think, “Oh, God. It’s here!”  Quickly click on Gmail tab, only to be simultaneously disappointed and relieved that it’s just another email from one of the gazillion job sites I signed up for (out of panic due to writer’s block) sending me news of more “opportunities” to work for the man.  DELETE.

Downstairs dog providing his usual soundtrack of anguished yelps and howls.  Except today, his sounds of suffering playing in the background is actually a pretty good reflection of my own emotional state.  Started thinking that maybe he hasn’t been suffering the anal probes of aliens all this time, but has actually been reaching out to commiserate with his anguished neighbor upstairs.  Decided to —

254!  254!  254!!  OH GOD!  IT’S HERE! Continue reading

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Countdown: 5 Days til “The Moment of Truth”

Some of you have asked about the countdown calendar on the right side panel of my blog page and what it’s all about.  It is a countdown to the day my editor will get back to me with her comments on my manuscript.  Needless to say, I am excited, nervous, and scared all at once.  (99% scared. 0.5% nervous. 0.5% excited.)

Been having nightmares about what her feedback will be.  Recently, I dreamed that I got my manuscript back in the mail with a single Post-It on the front, displaying the only comment my editor had:  “I don’t get it” (with a big frowny-face drawn next to it.)  Other nightmares have produced such comments as:  “I know this was your 7th draft, but as they say in publishing, ‘8th time’s a charm’!” and “Your mother was right — law is a much more practical career choice.”  And my personal favorite:  “This sucked harder than Snooki on spring break.”  Ouch.

Though I had initially intended for the countdown to be a self-motivator, I realized as soon as I put the widget on my panel that this could end up being a big mistake.  After all, there’s enough pressure in trying to break into the enviable business of being a mid-list author who lives paycheck to paycheck, peddling her stories to anyone in need of something better to read on their morning train commute than the free copy of RedEye.  Do I really need the additional pressure of blundering through the process in front of my friends, family, acquaintances, former co-workers and classmates, and the 948,204 people connected to me through them (according to FB)?  And, of course, at the heart of that question lies another question almost too scary to even ask: “What if, in the end, I fail?”  For someone who in grade school used to hide any less-than-perfect grades on homework from her parents by flushing them down the toilet, that’s a scary thought. Continue reading

Writer’s Block

Have a theory about that state of mind in which a writer is at a total loss for words, when her characters seem to have all conspired to take a simultaneous vow of silence, when the pen opts out of forming useful words for drawing useless doodles around the edges of the page — that horrible condition called WRITER’S BLOCK.

Before my first real experience with writer’s block, I had assumed that the term referred to a sort of mental barrier that makes it harder for writers to say what they’re trying to say on the page.  However, having grappled with the demon of all demons that is writer’s block several times now, I am convinced that my former assumption was wrong.

In fact, it is called “writer’s block” because it makes you wish for a big block against which to hit your head until the words tumble out of your ear, or until you’ve lost consciousness — whichever comes fist.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m in the midst of a bout with writer’s block.  Since the big block I ordered off Amazon has yet to be delivered (struggling writer status required “Free Super-Saver Shipping” option), I am forced to try other methods to exorcise this word-eating demon. Continue reading

Mission: Procrastination

It’s 2 p.m.  Been up since 7:30 a.m.  Wow – that’s a lot of awake-hours already.  What have I accomplished today?

Should first temper rising guilt and anxiety due to suspicion that I have not been as productive as I could have been by reducing number of Awake-hours by number of Not-Writing-But-Doing-Other-Necessary-Essential-Tasks-Of-Daily-Living-hours:

Total Awake-hours = 6.5

Breakdown of Total NWBDONETODL-hours =

(Drank 3 cups of coffee to wake up while watching a re-run of Jersey Shore –> 0.75 hours (did not watch the full episode cuz had seen it before and already knew the ending))

+ (Took dogs out –> 0.25 hours)

+ (Fed dogs –> 0.03 hours)

+ (Calculated the decimal portion of an hour for the 2 minutes it took me to feed the dogs –> 0.03 hours)

+ (Caught up with friend on IM –> 1.0 hours (mostly talked about various revenge scenes for men who had scorned us in the past, but part of discussion was about book project, so only fair to deduct that portion from this total and add it to the productive-time total) –> 0.75 hours)

+ (Finished episode of Jersey Shore, as it was a good one and I needed a chuckle to ease bitterness roused by discussion about bad boyfriends who deserved being revenged-upon –> 0.25 hours)

+ (Sat down to write.  In need of inspiration, looked outside window.  Trusty writer‘s manual says: “Nature = Inspiration.”  Noticed it was snowing.  Checked forecast to see if there will be 2 or more inches of snow, in which case I’d need to move my car to another street.  Weatherman on local news channel said “1-2 inches of snow accumulation.”  Which one will it be, weatherman??  ONE or TWO?  Do i need to move my car or not?   Just tell me and stop with your coy estimation game!  Mentally added local news weatherman to list of people to portray in unflattering parody in book.  Mental note reminded me that I should be writing my book.  Sat down to write, but then heard what sounded like snow plows outside and got paranoid.  Ran outside to see if car was still in its spot, fearing it had been towed, and prepared to throw self in tow truck’s path to prevent $250 tow fee.  Car still there – phew!  Ran back inside.  But now cold, and bottom of pants are wet.  Changed pants.  Probably shouldn’t be in my pajamas at 2 p.m. anyway, but isn’t that supposed to be one of the great perks of being a writer?  Sneezed twice in a row.  Will probably catch pneumonia now.  Mentally added local news weatherman to list of men to victimize in scorned-woman-revenge scene for forcing me to wear day clothes despite my writer’s-right to wear p.j.’s while I work, not to mention causing my imminent death due to pneumonia –> 0.5 hours)

+ (Searched various job sites for jobs to apply to in case this writing thing doesn’t work out –> 1.5 hours) Continue reading