Friday, November 30, 2012

book update

remember how i've been working on trying to write a book for about 2 1/2 years now?

i put it on the shelf during the last trimester of my pregnancy and have picked it back up again.

throughout this whole process, i've found that allowing for periods of "down time" with the book, periods of time in which i'm just letting it "sit," has actually proven to be helpful. it seems that every time i come back to the book after having a little break from it, i have new insights and ideas on what to do next, different directions to pursue, and improved perspective on how i want the finished product to be.

this stop-and-go method of working is pretty different than my natural inclination and habit of working. i usually am the go-go-go-until-it's-finished type of person. so, at times, as i've had to be more slow and patient with this process, i've often worried that it will never be finished and, instead, in a perpetual state of "in progress." i would hate to have that happen. i've worked so hard on this and to just have it never amount to anything would be so disappointing.

a few weeks ago, when i started working on it once more, i found myself deleting essentially the entire first half of my manuscript. i honestly think it's the biggest improvement yet.

one of the biggest things i learned as an undergrad art student was this:
when you're working on a painting (or anything else creative) there's often one part or aspect of the piece that you really come to love. you love it so much that you start working around it, but keeping that one small part totally in tact. when you realize this is happening, that's when it's time to totally obliterate that precious little part. it's only when you allow yourself to sacrifice that single, beloved aspect of your creative work, will the rest of piece, as a whole, really start to take shape and succeed.

that totally makes sense in my little art nerd brain but i'm not sure about anyone else's...

anyways. that's what i did with my book. it was hard, and took a while to get to this point, but cutting out so much of it, is really helping it move forward in the best direction.

and now, i even have a real-life, super legit editor who's agreed to work with me! you know how nie nie recently published her story? amy hackworth, who was the ghost writer for stephanie nielson's book, and who writes for designmom (and who is also a good friend of ours) is going to be editing my manuscript and giving me advice about publishing! hoooooray! i'm so excited and blessed to have amy's help.



you can read more posts about my book here and here and here


maria said...

Yep! 'Kill your darlings' is one of the most valuable lessons my journalism professor taught me in university!

So exciting to hear about your book! I bet it'll be good!

xo Maria

Tanner said...
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Dana said...

ya, same as maria, my writing professors called it "killing your darlings" Good for you writing this book--I think you'll help a lot of women through some hard times

Esther said...

Hahaha! And I thought I was going to be the only one who commented and mentioned "Killing your darlings." Apparently it's quite a common phrase in University writing classes...
Also? Every single writing professor I ever had (which was a lot as I majored in poetry) recommended setting your work aside for at least three months at some point in your process and coming back to it with new eyes, so to speak, so I'd say you did exactly the right thing, Sam!

A Spinster's Dating Encyclopedia said...

Just found your blog. Love. It!

{haley} said...

Ditto on "killing your darlings..." I find myself doing that with every paper I write!
Best of luck with your book! Love your blog and love your sweet baby girl.

Anonymous said...

How exciting :) Congrats!!! I know what you mean about painting.

Amy said...

I am SO excited for your book!! I can't wait to read it :) Keep chugging along lady! It's gonna be amazing, I know it.