Harshing my Mellow

Hope everyone here in ‘Murica had a nice day off and awoke this morning with only a slight hangover and all their digits in place. I’ll admit I have been avoiding a new post for a while. I had plan on doing a wrap up of the editing “class” I took, but I don’t think that’s necessary. I think what that class triggered is where my thoughts are focused. Before I explain let me back up a bit.

One thing I have heard time and time again while venturing into the world of novel writing is “most writers throw away their first manuscript.” This idea gave me heart burn. It took me over two years to get through “Mara.” Not because it was a brilliant masterpiece, mostly because I was just taking my time with it. I wrote a little here and there - usually just when the mood struck. Since then I have gotten a lot more strict about my writing schedule. First lesson in writing 101, write everyday even if you don’t feel inspired. To think that after all that time I spent with Mara I would end up tossing her to the curb was a horrifying prospect.

Now however, almost a year since I finished her I have to decided to do just that. My hope is that I am letting her go not because I find the idea revising her too monumental, but more so because I have gotten what I needed. Mara provided me with amazing learning experiences: she brought WBWW into my life, she taught me how to stick with something, she advanced my writing skills, and she showed me my capacity to bring the voices in my head to light. I have no regrets at all with her. Still I just don’t think, at this point, there is much more I want to do with her.

I think what I want to do is tighten my process. I’ve spent way too much time with Mara, I can’t see her objectively anymore. The new novel I started last week, “Lena,” has given me that same fire in my fingers that Mara gave me once upon a time. I’d like to write it quickly to get it out of my head so I can start a legitimate editing process. I feel like with Lena I have a ton more knowledge than I did going into Mara, so I have a better chance of getting Lena out into the world…eventually.

I feel oddly calm about my decision after clinging to her desperately for so many years. Maybe I worried that Mara would be my only idea for a novel. Now I realize that’s silly. Ideas are easy; it’s the follow through that’s tricky. One day down the line I may go back to her with a refreshed view and a new plan of attack, but for now I am more than happy to chalk her up to experience.

My plan this holiday weekend is to wrap up my “Wet” novel, I only have a few more scenes and then put that one away for a while as well, maybe edit it in a few months. Then I can’t wait to get cracking on Lena, I have a good feeling about her.

Current song: Rilo Kiley "More Adventurous"