2 Month Marathon- Day 20-The Word Whisperer

My readers will know that I am in the midst of a big push to finish my manuscript by the end of July. At the start of each week, I begin edits on the next five chapters of the novel, in the hopes that at the end of the summer I will have a finished product.

I have hit a few bumps along the road. Last week was very busy for me, work-wise. In addition, I was helping my parents get ready for a cross-country trek. I wasn’t able to get my four hours-a-day in. I started to panic. 

Instead of driving myself crazy trying to jam the writing into my already packed schedule, I made myself a deal. Take the rest of the week off. Start fresh on Monday.

Yesterday, over a lovely dinner on the porch with my dear friend and fellow writer, I confessed my recent anxieties over my manuscript. It’s not good enough, it will never get published, I’ll feel like a massive failure in front of everyone I know.

My wise friend said several things last night which helped calm my fears.

1. It’s not only about the destination. The journey of writing a novel has been so valuable in itself. Even if I don’t end up with a manuscript that is deemed publishable, I have learned lessons in persistence and the pursuit of a passion, which are invaluable.

2. Don’t push it. Working on any creative endeavor is so different than most other kinds of work. Even in the editing/revision stage that I am currently in, I need to give myself and the novel, time to breath.

3. Be kind to the novel. Whisper to it, my friend told me. Ask what it needs to grow, to succeed. Listen. Be aware of the novel as an entity separate of yourself. 

4. Visualize success. As with so many things in life, the simple act of visualizing an outcome can help manifest it. Picture the cover, my friend told me. See the pages, each word, your name on the cover. Let that image guide you.

I want to thank my friend for giving me such great advice, and I felt it was my own responsibility to pass this along to other writers out there.

Whether you are struggling, or the words are pouring out, or you haven’t written in months. I hope that this advice can help you achieve your goals. 

As always, Happy Writing and Happy Whispering!

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Two Month Writing Marathon-Day 1

Today marks the beginning of an important step in the work on my novel. I have gotten to a place where all the writing I have that is being used in the manuscript is in order. The chapters are laid out. Now, I am embarking on a final round of intense edits.

I have decided to give myself one week to work on five chapters. This way, I should get through the entire manuscript in two months. July 15th, here I come!

As I go through each chapter, I will perform basic grammatical edits. On a sentence level, I will work on pairing down, in an attempt to make my language as concise as possible.

I will perform additional research which is needed to fill in details. On the top of my search list are: Los Angeles, professional women’s boxing, district attorneys, Naples and the Neapolitan Mafia. Feel free to fill in the blanks.

I would like to purchase a tape recorder, so that I can read each chapter out loud and listen back to it.  Listening to the words, instead of just reading them, is essential in developing a natural rhythm and cadence.

Today is a starting point. The idea is to put in four hours a day. It’s about to get very real.

Any tips from writers out there on their favorite editing practices?

Suggestions, personal practices and advice are always welcomed and encouraged.

Happy Editing!Image