Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Okay. I've been trying to get my morning started since 7 a.m. It's 10 a.m. now. Sluggish. This is the perpetual state of my mornings. Even when I was working in an office. Writers I've been meeting want to know what time I begin writing. I say, "In the afternoon, usually around 2 p.m." They look at me, googly-eyed, because, clearly, they expected me to say, "Oh, 6 a.m., early."

Not the case. I don't care if every damn writer in the world wakes up at the crack of dawn to write, because that's when they're in a metaphysical state of creativity or whatever. Me. I am in a metaphysical state of lethargic bitchiness. 2 p.m. That is when I am awake and functional enough to write a descriptive sentence and some dialog.

After listening to NPR for one solid hour this morning, I finally dragged my ass out of bed at 8 a.m., dressed, leashed the dogs, grabbed my mace, and in a state of agitation, I walked the dogs, thinking, "You were supposed to get out of bed at SEVEN! Not EIGHT."

I thought today, since it is not a YMCA day, that I would try and get to my blog and to the daily journal I keep earlier than normal. We'll see how it works out. Speaking of they Y, I started taking a class last week. Today, I am sore in all the places I hope will one day be glorious. I seem to want things to be less work than they are. That is the lesson I learned yesterday.

Yesterday was a crappy day. I fell way off of the high I'd been on on Sunday. So, just so everyone knows, including me, good things do not always happen. They do not. In June, I had sent a story off to a writer I know. She is an editor for a literary journal, a writer herself, and most important to me, she was a good friend to my old writing mentor. I asked if she could give me feedback. I purposely did not touch the story after I sent it to her. I wanted to be distanced from it so that when her comments came, I could swallow them and move on to revising. Mind you, it's the first thing I've written in eight years.

Yesterday, her comments came. I read them right after returning from the Y. Basically, she said I'd broken every cardinal rule of storytelling and that I needed to restructure the story completely, that is to say, add structure to a story that lacks it altogether. She also gave me a lot of other valid criticism that was not, "I love this story."

After I read her comments, I thought, "How can this story not be wonderful?" Then I coped the only way I could. I laid my sweaty, stinky body in bed for a half hour.

After my nap, I jumped into the shower and gave myself a pep talk. Something like this: You now have a steady job. You now have a steady schedule, including knowing when you write and being able to do it for a four to six hour stretch. You now have contacts with a whole host of other writers. You have written three and a half new stories this summer. You have laid a solid foundation. Now it is time to work. Writing is work. Now you take those new stories and WORK them from crappy first drafts into finished stories. That's what your next step is. It is time to work.

Then I checked my email again and there was a message from the Country Roads editor saying that the piece I'd spent all day Sunday revising was still "not hitting the Country Roads tone." So I said to myself, "This is your work. It's not just writing, it's revising and editing." I spent the whole afternoon revising. I finished working at 6:45 p.m. Take that, early-bird writers. I sent it off, and I thought, "Thank god he asked me to revise. That was terrible."

Today, I'm going to begin revising the first short story I've written in eight years. But first, I'm going to write in my daily journal and do some laundry.

Now it's 11:00 a.m. My mind is less haggard, metaphysically speaking.

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