Six Reasons Why This Blog Post Is Lame

I have to admit something to you all. I am on the brink of being overwhelmed, and that is why you have not had an overabundance of blog posts from me recently. This is all completely my fault. Offered projects whose completion dates loomed far in the future or even in that wonderful land of “whenever you can get it back to me,” I accepted all of them and then, true to personality type, attempted to complete them all at once and in as little time as possible. Friends, I fell short of perfection. Alas. Here’s the list of editing/writing tasks that I have taken upon myself. I’m not asking for your sympathy, or for you to feel bad if you are one of the reasons there is something on this list. I would just like you to all be aware everything that’s going on and maybe give me a little bit of encouragement.

1. I am reading the 800+ page tome Outlander for book club at work. This wasn’t exactly optional, except I did happen to choose the book club with the thickest book. That being said, Outlander is a great book. I wish I had more time to devote to it. Somehow I managed to get ahead in our reading (thus delaying other projects) and so I haven’t picked it up in almost two weeks.

2. I’m just behind on my reading in general. I scheduled myself to read fifty-two books in 2011, and I was doing pretty well, too, until I came up against Dracula. You should know my feelings by now on that subject. What I have learned from this experience is that no matter how classic the work, I should just give up and put it down if I’m only 12% through and want to shoot all the characters. So I’m two books behind where I want to be, and I’m having a hard time getting in the groove of another book what with Dracula being a bore and having to read fifty or so pages of Outlander every week.

3. I’m editing a Tate book from home. This is by far the stupidest move I have made this month. I told my author that I would give his book a quick run-through to make sure everything was coherent. You see, this author’s book was originally edited by the girl whom I replaced, so I had never read it before. What I didn’t realize when I promised my author this was that he had basically rewritten over a hundred pages. So even if I wasn’t reading the whole thing, I would still have to read at least a hundred pages of new material for grammar checks. Now, yes, I could have told my supervisor this conundrum, and she could have scheduled me to do it at work, but I didn’t want to be a bother in that way, and I honestly thought I could have this book whipped into shape in a week or so. But alas, this has not been the case. Fortunately my author is very nice and is not even expecting me to finish it before June.

4. I have two of Thomas’s novels to read through. Thomas Beard is an artist for the Consortium who also happens to be my brother-in-law. He works with both the schools of music and writing. When it comes to writing, I am the de facto person to run stuff by. Probably because I read so much that I can kind of pinpoint common problems in stories. Well, what can I say, that is my job. So I really don’t mind that Thomas gave me his stuff to read, and I will get around to it eventually, but unfortunately he told me there was no rush on it, and then I got distracted by:

5. Nurturing Joshua Unruh. Josh’s book, Hell Bent for Leather, Β is scheduled to be published through the Consortium in January 2012. That’s two months before my book is to be released, so he’s more important right now in terms of having all his little word ducks in a row. So I’m acting as editor and all around helper to make sure his book is ready to go by that time. It’s a little stressful for me because I’m supposed to be teaching good writing skills as well as just telling Josh what he did wrong. All in all, I think this excercise is challenging me just as much as it is Josh, only in a different way. I’m just very thankful that Joshua is a tough, resilient writer who can hack all my criticism.

6. Writing my own novel. As you know, I’m scheduled to be published in March 2012, and I have a long way to go before that’s viable. I’ve recently hit the part in my manuscript that I’m not fond of and my fingers are balking at all that boring typing business. My fingers and I have yet to come to an agreement that if they just get past this boring stuff, then they will be able to type the interesting part. Fortunately Courtney Cantrell and a few beta readers are being great motivators. But then something happened to me two nights ago. I had a dream that inspired a new story. And now I have spent the past two days trying not to write it. I was staring at my NaNoWriMo poster this morning and realized it would be a great story to work on for November, so hopeful that promise of future fulfillment will allow me to focus on the task at hand.

Snoopy and typewriterAnd lastly, but not important enough to get its own number, my cats got fixed on Friday, so Jing-Tsai is being way more needy than normal. Even as I wrote this post she spent most of it with her head tucked between my thumbs, trying to convince me to pet her. The other part of it she spent clawing my leg. It’s very hard to type with claws in my leg.

And thus, my friends, there you have me, whelmed and struggling to organize my projects. Β I must needs prioritize, schedule myself for tasks, and then execute according to plan. It is the only way out of this pile of laundry. Hope to see you on the other side!

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10 Responses to Six Reasons Why This Blog Post Is Lame

  1. Aaron Pogue says:

    You can do it, Jessie!

    Honestly, if you need to be officially ordered to put Josh off until September, I can give that order. Same offer for Thomas, really.

    But you’ve got to get your novel done! I know the urge to jump to something else. It’s killer. My favorite trick is to pin it down with a good prewriting package. Give it two days of solid attention, trap it in structured notation, and then throw it in a closet until November.

    • jessie says:

      Thank you for telling me where my priorities lie, Aaron. I wasn’t really sure which was the most important and I always hesitate to put myself first. Ah, a prewriting package. That sounds like fun, and a great idea. I’ll definitely have to devote a least a few hours to that so I can rest assured that it will be given its due attention in November.

      • Aaron Pogue says:

        I’ve got a Prewriting Package Template in the Consortium Books folder, if you want to go that route. It conforms to all the stuff I’m always prattling on about at my blog…but, for the same reasons, it’s monstrous long.

        It’s somewhere to start, anyway.

      • I’ve been feeling much better about my Legend’s Heir or Inheritance or Whatever I’m Calling It since I started working on my prewriting package. I highly recommend it for getting a story out of your head so as to focus on WIP. πŸ™‚

  2. Laura Morgan says:

    You’re right about Dracula. If you hate it, put it down. You picked it up, which is the most anyone can ask of you. You are constantly reading, so you should only read what you like when you have the choice.

    For your novel, it will come in time! If you want to me to listen while you hash out boring scenes, I am yours at lunch. Except for today because I have book club. (I picked probably the smallest book, but I’m still having a hard time keeping up…yikes.)

    And, uh, will you hate me if I nominate you for at least a Take Five? Because you deserve something for the extra work you’re putting in. Pleasant author or not, it’s still more time that you can’t spend on reading things you truly enjoy.

    *Sends encouraging energies across the room.* I’m editing a ghost-hunting MS right now, okay? I’m allowed to send whatever energies I want, wherever I want.

    You’re doing a great job with the job that pays you and the ones that don’t, Jessie!

  3. Joshua Unruh says:

    Jessie, here is encouragement on multiple levels!

    First, you are super organized and will find a way to get it all done (even if there are some less than fun times while you do it). I have nothing but faith in you!
    Second, Aaron and I accidentally had similar ideas that may make Hell Bent easier on you that I can work on while you put me off until September. I will email you about that today!

  4. Lana says:

    I totally think you should count Outlander as two books for the year. It’s at least twice the size of most novels, right?! πŸ™‚

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      That, or just read some really short books to balance it out.

      Now’s probably as good a time as any to revisit the Bunnicula series….

  5. I love how the word “nurturing” will never mean the same thing to any of us ever again. ;-D

    I already left a comment above about the prewriting deal, so all I have left to say is this: I advocate being a bother to your supervisor. Your author might be nice and the not-pressuring type, but it’s still a different project from what you thought you were agreeing to when you agreed to it. When someone changes the rules on you, it is always always okay for you to set the boundary and say, “No. The rules changed. So here is what I need, etc.” Especially when that boundary protects how you choose to use your free time at home.

    Just my two Eurocents. πŸ™‚