Friday, September 16, 2011

Dating Your Manuscript


Every fall, I hit a slump in creativity. There’s no mystery to it: the beginning of a school year takes a lot out of me. There’s a new schedule to learn and new students to get to know, not to mention I’m also a parent of two daughters starting their own busy school year. Luckily, by now I know it’s a temporary condition that will subside in a few weeks as I adjust to the routine.
So, I guess it’s a good thing I’m winding down my current WIP, finishing up the fifth round of revision and editing, tweaking details and trimming words before sending it to my agent. (Fingers crossed she likes it!) But I’m a little sad to not have a kick-ass new draft waiting in the wings.
I DO have a project started, but I’m not in love with it. I guess you could say we’re dating. I’m not very serious about it so far, and I’m not positive I won’t be dumping it eventually, but right now it’s better than spending my nights alone. I can’t commit to a new relationship anyway, since I’ll probably get an editorial letter for THE CAGED GRAVES in a few weeks. It could be sticky if I got myself involved in a love affair with new characters just when I need to spend all my time with some old, familiar ones. Kind of like an old boyfriend showing up and wanting to crash at your place just as you’re starting to get serious about a new guy.
So for now, I’m keeping it casual. You know, just spending time with the new WIP for fun with no strings attached. I’m distracted by the new school year, finishing up one love affair and anticipating the return of an old friend. Not the time to fall in love, even if I kind of wish I WAS in love.
How about you? Are you available and actively looking? Casually dating? Playing the field? Newly fallen in love? Or well into a long-term commitment with all its ups and downs, highs and lows, and countless revisions? Do tell!

12 comments:

  1. I love this analogy. I'm currently in complete in-between-land! I'm expecting edits, in the middle of an intense WIP, and anticipating halting it temporarily to work on something more time-urgent for the next month or so. I just wish I could be casual about something; I think that would save me some headaches!

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  2. I took up an ex recently and I think we're going to make a solid commitment to making them the best they can be. In the meantime I've started outlining a new project and I'm still querying KFC. No news on that front for awhile though.

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  3. Good luck with Caged Graves. Can't wait to see what you've done with it. The beginning of the school year tends to put me in a writing slump, too. The kids' schedules have me spinning.

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  4. Ha! Great analogy. I'm well into a long-term commitment with my, um, second "husband." We're kind of distant from each other right now, while I'm clearing up the details of my, er, "separation" from my first "husband." (So far our separation has been amicable, and we're wishing each other the best in all our future "relationships.")

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  5. I LOVE your analogy, Dianne.

    I'm in the same place. I'm working through a writing course right now that I'll be applying to my WIP soon. But I've also started planning out my new project. I love the story concept, but I'm "dating" the book because I know I'll have to put it aside soon while I do the final polish on my WIP. But once that's finish, I'm diving into my new love affair. :D

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  6. I'm consistent. Been married to the same man for more than forty-two years, and it FEELS like I've been married to the same WIP for that long, too.

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  7. that *is* a good analogy. I, too, have taken up with 'exes' and in fact am about to take up with an ex who I have serial dated for years. This time I hope we'll get it right.
    (that this actually seems to reflect the history of my love life is bizarre and creepy)

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  8. well, you know the answer to that: knee deep in revisions - but...well, did sort find a new toy the other day...

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  9. What a charming analogy! But it's a great way to view your projects.

    "I DO have a project started, but I’m not in love with it. I guess you could say we’re dating. I’m not very serious about it so far, and I’m not positive I won’t be dumping it eventually, but right now it’s better than spending my nights alone."

    Okay, this just made me smile.

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  10. This is such a spot-on analogy!!!! And have I told you how excited I am about CAGED GRAVES??!!!

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  11. I have some Old Flames to work on rewrites this winter and numerous new projects. Working over 120% since April has not helped our relationships much, but one job should end after October, so there is hope!

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  12. I just finished one relationship and I'm (biting nails) waiting to hear if my agent likes it. So I'm in between right now. Kind of taking a break before I jump back into the dating scene again. This last one was exhausting! But in a good way. (Smiles)

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