This life coach/therapist I was seeing for a while this past year insisted I stop saying that doing certain things was HARD, since it’s supposed to be actually harder when you think of stuff as hard, and easier when you think of it as easy. I have found this to be mostly true.
Yet I am feeling lately that revising this book is seriously NOT EASY, even though I know it is not as hard not-easy as completing the first draft, all three-hundred-something pages of it, which I did at the end of February one night when I stayed up really, really late. Remember that? And then I woke up Chris to tell him I was done? And then I had some wine? That was awesome. But everything up to that point was not easy.
And then after I sent it off I had other uneasy things to do, like my taxes (then again, I have an accountant to do the seriously hard stuff, and I can call that hard if I’m not even remotely qualified to do it, right? Also, I deducted a butter churn. No, really.), traveling to Italy for work (of course I will not complain about the Italy part, but the physical travel part isn’t exactly a breeze. Look at that soulless airport corridor! And on the flight I had to watch New Moon!), and doing a 5K (which, okay, transcends the hard/easy spectrum on account of being so painful yet hilarious yet pathetic yet triumphant). So I don’t know why revising the book is harderâ€”excuse me, “harder”â€”than other stuff I’ve done lately. But I will try to break it down for you:
- Sometimes my editor’s notes ask What do you mean by this sentence? which opens up a nice shiny k-hole in which I try to figure out what she means by “what do I mean” as well as what I meant originallyÂ and how can I make this sentence I wrote seven months ago about eating toast mean more meaningfully to convey what I mean? I mean, it’s toast. Toast! Maybe you should just tell me what you want me to mean and I’ll mean it, okay?
- I work to classical music on internet radio, because it’s non-distracting yet lively, and it makes me feel fancy and smart and twatty, except there’s only about three stations on iTunes that I really like (i.e., no opera or “modern classical guitar”), and yet they run the worst commercials ever, the most horrible mood-puncturing ear-spam that HONKS at you about CELTR*XA FOR STRETCH MARKS and CREDIT REPORTS and GET RIPPED NOW, and while I understand that ads are sometimes necessary, these commercials don’t even try to make any of this stuff sound even remotely like a good idea, it’s just all HERBAL SUPPLEMENT and BURN FAT and TUCKER MAX MOVIE and POUND FINGERS FLAT WITH HAMMER and other things nobody anywhere would ever go for. So I hate it when I’m writing away and listening to this string-quartet-something-or-other chirping along and everything’s great and then suddenly ACAI BERRY BELLY FAT CAR ALARM SYSTEM CALL NOW BLARK BLARK BLARK bursts forth. It happens about three hundred thousand times a day, so you’d think I’d be used to it, but I am not.
- There is supposed to be a third thing here but I forgot. What was it? Where are my notes? I think I meant to use part of that section I cut from another draft but it’s in another file and I think I re-saved it under a different name, “toast2,” and I bet if I check the backup system I can find an earlier version and this is taking 25 minutes and PROACTIV FAT BLASTER BRAP BRAP BRAP.
On the bright side, we have a final official title and subtitle, which is The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie.Â We also have a cover draft (which I can’t show you yet, but it’s very pretty) and a tentative publication date for next spring. I know that sounds like forever in human time, but in publisher marketing time it’s about half an hour, and a jam-packed half-hour at that.
I’ll try to be back here again before summer starts, but for now, I have to get back to this:
(Bonus: click on the photo to read about my helpful/dorky flag system. This is when I first started; there are fewer flags now.)
Have a good weekend!