My manuscript for A Soft Place to Land is on it’s way to my friend Joy in Chicago at this moment. I mailed it at the end of last week, and it should arrive tomorrow. I’m both nervous and itching with anticipation. Nervous, because she may hate it, but anticipating her reading it, marking it up, making loads of comments, and mailing it back to me. I also have another copy headed to Atlanta this weekend to go to my friend Anna Cate. I trust both of them and their opinions because they’re both writers and avid readers. Joy sent me her book manuscript last year, and I have a portion of Anna Cate’s with me now. I have one other friend I may send the manuscript to later on, but it’ll have to be after I’ve whipped the thing into even better shape–he works in NYC in publishing, so it has to be perfect before he sees it.
Because the manuscript is officially out my door, albeit it temporarily, I don’t want to make too many changes to it, so I’m avoiding reading through it. It seems every time I look through it, I find things to change, but I want to wait until I have Joy and AC’s changes before I go back in and start revising again. I can hardly wait to get the packages back from them.
Lately, I’ve been feeling the urge to start writing something new–or at least pick back up on something I’ve put on hold. Yesterday, I went to a coffee shop for a couple of hours to do some writing, but I was frustrated to find that nothing would come. I went back into “The Brightest Porch Light in Texas,” a story I began while I was revising SPTL, excited to add to the story. I settled down in to the comfy chair with my cup of coffee and cinnamon roll next to me, earbuds in ears, white noise on the iphone…and nothing. I couldn’t write a thing. I just wasn’t in the groove for that story. At some point during the writing of SPTL, I got out of the groove. I think I had been sick, or Kate had, so I had taken a couple of weeks off from writing. When I finally got back to it, I was dismayed to find that I just couldn’t get back into the story–I wasn’t “feeling it”–and I was worried that SPTL would become just another story beginning that I abandon when the “groove” leaves. Thankfully, the cloud passed and I “felt it” again, and I finished the book. That was just a couple of weeks though–it’s been months since I’ve written in BPIT, and that’s probably a large part of the problem. I have to stay in it, write every day, in order to keep a story going. If I take too much time away, it’s a goner. I really like the premise of BPIT though, so I hope I can get back to it at some point.
Sitting here during Sela’s nap with a major case of writer’s block, I instead wrote my Star column for January. I think it turned out pretty well. At least I got some words down on paper (or the screen) even if it wasn’t for a book. Writing is writing, and as long as my fingers are moving across the keyboard with purpose, it counts.