Thursday, March 14, 2013

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Eat Peanut Butter (And Take A Break)

Well, I’m back! (in New York, that is.) The little trip to Los Angeles was great. The meeting I went in for was wonderful- I really am happy I went. And I got to spend a few days with one of my best friends, which in it of itself was worth the money for the plane ticket. I wish I could tell you that the whole trip was idyllic, frolicking around Los Angeles with the rich and famous. That I hit 50K, which was my goal for the trip (I couldn’t let friend ditch all her classes to hang out with me. I don’t want anyone’s college failures on my head) but alas. God and Delta had other plans.
To make a long complicated story short, my carry on was checked right before the flight, and that was the last time I saw it. Said carry on held important things like my clothing, my makeup, and oh yeah, my laptop.
I won’t bore you with the details of the many phone calls I have made in an attempt to find my bag again. How much peanut butter I consumed (not just regular, but chocolate peanut butter and white chocolate peanut butter too...). The repurchasing of a wardrobe for four days, because the alternative was me walking around naked. And I don’t think Los Angeles was ready for that kind of trauma.
I can tell you the crippling relief I felt when I realized I had backed up my current WIP on Google Drive two days before I left. For reals, I nearly cried in relief. (Lesson: ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR STUFF.)
I’ve been rewriting blog posts, book reviews, and all sorts of other things that I have scheduled on my iPad, and on the library computers, because I am currently computer-less. *sob*
I haven’t touched my WIP for a week. As someone who is neurotically scheduled, this does not do anything nice to my poor abused nerves.
K, I feel a little better. Not MUCH better, but a little. *sniff*
But to quote the ever-wise Monty Python, ‘Always look on the bright side of life…’
And so, even though it’s not always easy, I’m going to find a bright side of this whole debacle.

It’s called time.
If I want to be honest with myself, the WIP has been slowing down to a crawl. The plot is unraveling, and sometimes I wonder if there still is a plot at all. Writing and writing and writing every day doesn’t always give me time to THINK about it for a little. To really let the plot marinate in my head before rushing and typing it all out as fast as my fingers can.

Sometimes, a break is necessary.
I’ll hit 50k- and 60, and 70, and 80, and 90, please God. It’s not even like I’m racing anyone else- I’m only racing an imaginary version of myself. A more put together, more talented, and WAY more organized version of myself.
Who, by the way?
Does not exist. (Hence, the whole imaginary thing there)

So John Hughes pretty much wrote the whole 16 Candles in a weekend. There are some people who write entire books in a month (Hi, NaNoWriMo winners!) Obviously, for this book, for this time, I am not meant to be joining that club.
There are people who spend years- decades even- writing the same story.
They aren’t any better or any worse than the people who do it in a month.
Everyone’s creative process is going to be different. Some people are going to write a perfect book on the first draft. Some people will need to rewrite it forty seven million times. There are some people who are anal about plotting every single sentence before ever writing the first word. There are some people who don’t even bother with any sort of planning, and just let the story wander wherever it decides to go.

One isn’t any better than the other. They’re just different roads to get to the same place. Going 80 down a highway isn’t better or worse than going 20 and taking time to stop at all the goofy tourist traps- they’re just different ways of getting there.
There is no minimum or maximum for bathroom stops. We’re all going to get there eventually. With unexpected traffic, with discovered shortcuts, with goofy music blasting and the windows rolled down, with weird transmissions and dead batteries. With trees and cheese sandwiches, with picnics of chocolate and jelly beans and lemonade, and gallons of coffee and tea. With ridiculous pictures, dumb videos, getting pulled over for no reason. In whatever vehicle you’re getting there in- car, motorcycle, an 18-wheeler, a covered wagon or a unicycle.
Everyone’s going to have a different trip there.
Everyone’s going to take their own route.
We’ll all get there in good time.

Now, I’m off to revisit my lovely, neglected WIP. Hopefully, I’ll be #1hr1k ing a bunch this weekend- I’d love for you to join me should you so desire. Or you can just say hi on Twitter (, and I’ll say hi back. :)

(And a bonus because when I discover something that I listen to on repeat, I feel it is only fair to make you do the same. I have a weakness for good a cappella. And ermagod, these boys are GOOD. You’re welcome.)


  1. D:

    Sorry to hear things have been tough. Good luck with your WIP and getting your bag back!