Saturday, July 05, 2008

Got some great feedback on my manuscript the other day - so great I can't ignore it, so great I can't dismiss it, so great I am going to address each and every point made.


I want to be "done." I so, so, so want this manuscript to be "done."

Such a metaphor, it's my life, after all, that the manuscript depicts. I am in such a hurry all the time to be done with whatever phase of my life that I'm currently in, optimistic, always, that the next one will be better/more/different.

It occurs to me that "optimistic" may not be the best choice of words - it may not be optimism that the next phase is better, as much as it is impatience with whatever is "now."

The power of now has yet to fuel me, it has eluded me almost entirely.

I had dedicated today to going back into my manuscript and reworking the first 50 pages. Thing is, you can't rework the first 50 pages without reworking the whole thing.


I'm sick of the first 50 pages, I'm sick of the story I'm trying to tell, I'm wondering why I ever thought this was such a great idea, anyway.

And what if "they" are right? What if I "left my kids" all those times to go write a book, and the book is total shit and will never be published, and all that leaving was pointless, deluded, and worse, the "s" word - selfish.

What if I've spent all these months writing something for "nothing?"

Would that be the worst thing that could happen to me? Having spent months reflecting, reworking and revising the stories I've told myself, and the one I'm trying to share with the world?

No. And so, I will stop procrastinating/distracting/avoiding and pick up that #2 pencil and go back in.


And probably, again, and again, and again...

* Photo from


Special Needs Mama said...

Oh sweetie, boy am I with you. Revision cuts to the heart. You'll figure it out, of this I am sure.

Jerri said...

Tom Lemmer (a screenwriter you're sure to hear of in the future) told me he uses three truths regarding art to keep himself focused:

1. This story you're working on? It's NEVER going to make you a million dollars. Still wanna write it?

2. Most people - in the world, in America, in Missouri, in Independence - will NEVER see your story. Still wanna write it?

3. Of those that do... Most people will NOT like it. Still wanna...

Pretty sure he's spot on right.

drama mama said...

This is exactly why I've never pursued writing.

I hate revisions.

Once I'm done, I'm done.

But I think it's a good idea for YOU -because you have such an important story to tell.
(And because I know that you are a patient kind of person!)

One page at a time, honey. We're with you. xo

lo said...

gosh i 'needed' that post!
HEY and don't forget-you are getting feedback...on your manuscript. Some of us are so far away from that part of the process so good on you C!!!
Know what I tell my son, when the head of his soccer club works with them and it's 'Max this' and 'Max why you stand around like kitty around warm milk?' (the coach is from Europe and talks like this) and 'Don't be like clown with balloon at circus'(think this means stop looking up in the sky and walking. Anyways I tell Max (same thing his coach tells him), 'Gosh, the technical director of the club KNOWS your NAME!!!! There are thousand in the club and he knows your name and he calls you out because he cares, because he SEES something in you.
Same for you C:)

mamatulip said...

Keep on keepin' on, girl.

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

Carrie, Tom Lemmer (whoever he is) seems to be right on the money. If it's a story you had to tell, even if only to yourself, would you still have written it? Chin up, nose to the grindstone and sharpen that #2 pencil. I'm thinking that even Steinbeck and Hemmingway had a few re-writes.
Love ya!

dori said...

All the questions...and the agony of the questions: you nailed it. And then you named it publicly. That's when you remind me, through your process, that it's not about the book at all. It's about your opening, growing, awareness. It's about righting generations of unconscious acts and information and making that conscious and deliberate...and, radically, luminous.

It's a pilgrimage like and as good as any. Everyone, I'm pretty sure, is given the opportunity to 'see' that each step is the journey, every turn contains the beginning and the destination - it's the process, and how the present moment illustrates the totality of it, that matters truly.

So sit. Stare. Erase. Wait. Listen. Swear. Bless. Be.

This is your one precious life.

Nancy said...

The way I see it, each of us are given gifts to be used for the greater good and your gifts, Carrie, are many. The only thing that would be selfish, would be for you not to share your story and you beautiful writing with everyone. You're almost there and then it will be time to start the next book! Never DONE.

La La said...

Ditto on what Dori said.

Ditto on what Nancy said.

You have a gift to share, and I know that first hand!

kario said...

Please don't misconstrue feedback for 'truth.' While the feedback you're getting is aimed at tightening your story for the reader, it does not change the fact that your story is yours. Besides which, each and every one of the versions you've lived and written have been necessary to get you to this point.

I'm going into hard re-writing this week, too. I've been putting it off for weeks and am feeling much better about it knowing that we will be doing it 'together.'

I'm sending love and light and strength. Believe in yourself. Just love.

Terry Whitaker said...

Care, It's not a re-write, anyway. It's just a little "backstory". And we all love the backstory!

Go Mama said...

Love your commitment and your dedication. It's inspiring.

shauna said...

Carrie, I'm so sorry I've been away for so long. But I'm so proud of you! What a great place to be. I'm sure it's like the third trimester of pregnancy--so close but yet so far. But to the person who isn't currently pregnant, it appears as if you are days away from giving birth! I'll put in my vote for the editor to induce!

Robin said...

Wait! Have you alphabetized the spices? Okay call me, I will do it while you just go ahead and rewrite already.