Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Post-Partum Procrastination

Announcement! I have not actually been pregnant in more than 13 years. I am speaking IN METAPHOR *cough*


But I DID just finish with TWO simultaneous ginormous deadlines, one professional and one personal (which is to say, writing)

And for Pete's SAKE, I can't make myself do ANYTHING!


Professional Purgatory

AKA: Grant Writing. I hate this activity. It is weeks and weeks of meticulous, painful work and 99 times out of 100 results in NOTHING. You work your butt off to hit a deadline and then POOF. All that time just vanishes and no money follows.

Part of my problem is grant writing is a little like herding penguins. You chase somebody down, ask for something nicely, and they slide off the iceberg into the ocean and splash around for several days before you can track them down again. You need letters, biosketches, feedback, pieces of the puzzle...

Once upon a time I wanted my PhD, but helping others chase grant money cured me of that in about 5 years. I don't WANT to be the one responsible for that. (Besides, I'd rather write fiction—a PhD works 100 hours a week—they really can only write stuff related to their progression in their profession).


Personal Progress

I finally finished editing Chrysanthemum Campaign... This is the third in my Cozy mystery series and is due to my editor at the end of June (easy peasy, right?) But I KNOW myself and need not ONE but TWO rounds of beta reads before I send it to my AGENT who I am hoping I can get it to June 1... because June 1 is the start of BuNoWriMo and my chance to finally write this book that has been hounding me since last summer... as yet, unnamed... my first adult suspense in quite a while (I actually hope it ends up a thriller, honestly, but I'm not worrying about that yet)

The means, thus far this year I did an edit of Legacy (mostly just a tightening) for ABNA, a major overhaul of Begonia Bribe (at my editor's request—this book will be the death of me), and now the three layer edit of Chrysanthemum Campaign.

Before June, I now need to edit Kahlotus Disposal Site (per my agreement with Amy that feedback from publishers has been luke-warm and it needs an infusion) and then ANOTHER revision of Chysanthemum Campaign... Five serious rounds of editing before I get to start writing this year. HMPH!

I mean I know I've made good progress, but having just finished a round... switching projects... not just projects, but away from the series that the last two books are in... my head is just a little out of the game. I think I know the HOW, but I just feel like I can't quite start.

In the meantime, I have beta reads for TWO bloggie buddies going and THAT is a good thing—excited to be doing it. And it helps me separate from my own style a little... gives me fresh eyes. So for the next little bit... until I can get going with Kahlotus (maybe Friday) I will concentrate on these treats... Because I am certainly not going to get any editing or work done for a couple days if it isn't mostly fun...

I definitely recommend beta reading as a way to shake off the double vision from looking at your own stuff too long.

15 comments:

Anna Smith said...

Sometimes taking a break from something will clear your mind, ready to start again. When I do this I always wonder what the hell I was fussing about lol :)

Old Kitty said...

My goodness you have a most NAKED summer ahead!! Yay! So so so exciting but yay too for taking a little breather!! Take care
x

Alison said...

Beta reading is a great way to clear the mind! I have Connie Japserson's new book on my desktop now - lucky me, since she ROCKS.

Enjoy the break, and here's to one fantabulous summer...

Carolyn Abiad said...

It's been a while since I did a beta read for anyone, but a friend just sent something over to me last week. It's a nice change of pace.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Congrats on all that progress though! Yay for beta reading! It really does help give you a breather and hone your eye for when it's time to go back to your own stuff.

Jackie said...

You amaze me all the time with how much you accomplish! I cannot wait for that adult suspense/thriller you're hoping to write!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

You know, sometimes it's just tough to *keep* up that same pace when you've already run yourself ragged keeping up with deadlines and getting the writing done. You've done such a great job! I'm glad you're getting a little bit of a break by being a beta.

Johanna Garth said...

I think Prodiguous Progress should have been your P word(s)!

Cold As Heaven said...

I've done my share of grant writing too, not much fun (but got my PhD). Life is better working for BigOil, where research money is abundant, at least for the time being >:)

Cold As Heaven

~Sia McKye~ said...

You have made some serious progress. Stop long enough to savor that. :-)

I find that when you use beta readers you tend to look at your work with fresh eyes. Sometimes you'll see something you didn't notice. I do have beta readers and a mentor-we write similar story subjects. It would be nice to also hit the bestseller list as she has on more than one occasion.


Oh, I hear you on writing grants. Ugh. I hate it--well I hate 80% of it. lolol!

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Christine Murray said...

Bunowrimo? Hurrah! I need some collective responsibility to get my ass in gear.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Grant writing is one of the most popular seminars offered through the community colleges here in NC. And something I never want to learn to do.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Reading my critique partners' work definitely helped me see the flaws in my own.

Helena said...

I used to be around academics who wrote grants, and they pretty much dreaded doing them too. Compared to fiction writing, it really must be torture, so may your cozies sell millions and you can give up on grants.

Enid Wilson said...

I hate grant writing too. I've swore of it this year. Good luck with your Cozy series. You're very disciplined.

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