Anyone who knows me knows that I do NOT procrastinate when it comes to ANYTHING. More than anything else, I never put off writing. If I procrastinate at all, it’s with housework, or accounting I should be doing for the family business, or washing the windows, or getting my flowers planted, or any number of other things all us women need to do in our daily lives.
However, lately I have been procrastinating when it comes to my writing … sort of. It’s not writing per se - it’s editing and re-writing my newest book DO NOT FORSAKE ME – due July 1st. Now, mind you, as soon as I knew this book was sold, I sat down and wrote it – 500 pages – in about 6 weeks – and all while on vacation in Las Vegas. There was no procrastination in that respect! This story and its characters have lived in my very soul for almost 20 years, so when I finally found someone (Sourcebooks) who actually wanted me to write it, I didn’t need to think about anything or even research anything. It was all right there in my brain and it came pouring out like water out of a jug.
I am totally, completely in love with the characters in DO NOT FORSAKE ME, especially the hero, Jake – and because of that I couldn’t get away from the story as I wrote it. My husband kept telling me to take breaks, but I literally couldn’t stop. It became a kind of drug for me. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. When I finished the book it was very, very hard for me to let go of it and set it aside, which I knew I needed to do for 6-8 weeks in order to get a “fresh” look at it and do a better job of editing and re-writing before I sent it in.
Therein lies my problem. I am literally “afraid” to start the editing because I know what will happen. It’s summer and I have so much to do, let alone the 3 grandsons being out of school and me having plans to do a lot with them this summer. I know that when I start this re-write I will be completely absorbed in this book and won’t get anything done. And I will resent anything and anyone who interferes. In Vegas there were no distractions. I was away from the family business, away from the grandsons, and I have nothing to do outside there because we live in a condo and I have no yard to take care of, no shoveling, nada. So I was able to devote all my waking hours to the book.
It’s different here at home – and I’m in a bit of a panic over whether I can get this big book properly edited and re-written in one month, even though it’s basically all finished. And part of me (as all writers go through) is scared to death I will read it and find out it’s terrible – or that after all my talk about this book, my editor will read it and find it’s full of flaws and tell me she hated the book.
I have come up with excuse after excuse as to why I can’t start this editing job, but that big 500 sheet ream of paper is sitting on the kitchen table beckoning me to come back – come back to Jake and his family – come back to this wonderful love story that I’ve so wanted to tell for so long – and get the job done in time to send it in by July 1st.
OMG- it’s June!! When did that happen? And I have plans with the grandsons – and something going on every doggone Saturday all this month, including giving a talk for my writer’s club (Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America) – a talk I haven’t even outlined yet. Actually, this blog is just another of my “excuses” to not start the editing yet, but right beside me is that big, fat manuscript … beckoning … beckoning … (Sigh)
Well, I call this the “good” kind of procrastination – because it’s not out of being lazy or because I’m not in the mood to write or any of those things. It’s because I know that once I read Chapter One, I’ll be hooked and I will lose sleep and won’t eat and will be a bit grouchy when it comes to interruptions and I will remove myself from the “real” world and find it difficult to stay in touch with what’s going on around me. I won’t read a newspaper, watch TV or any news, read a magazine, and of course I won’t be washing any windows or waxing my car – and my house will go to sh-- , but oh, well. I already warned my family and friends on Facebook that as soon as I start this, they won’t hear much from me for a good month … and I won’t be writing any blogs for a good month either … so I guess this is it, folks. I am off to Oklahoma with Marshall (and ex-outlaw/wanted man) Jake Harkner and his family. I won’t be back for a while. I will re-join the real world sometime in July, at which time I’ll be working on a “virtual” contest and some other fun things to promote my next new book, DESPERATE HEARTS, coming in September! Keep an eye on my web site and blog site for news about how you can win free copies of that one along with other free “stuff.” I will blog about the book and give you some tantalizing tidbits about the story and its characters!
Wait! I just remembered – ANOTHER story is brewing in my brain – and this one, too, has been lurking around in there for almost 20 years. I’m absolutely itching to write it, and I know that when I start it, it will come pouring out of me just like DO NOT FORSKE ME did. It will completely take over my life. I am already working on a short proposal, but I am going to have to “procrastinate” starting that one or I will miss out on the entire summer, and after the winter we had here in Michigan this past year, I really should stop and enjoy the nice weather. I’ll see how long I can hold off. Happy trails!!
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Publishers Weekly Review
"This Western historical is chock-full of danger, with families set on a vendetta, the threat of Emma’s stepfather, and the daily demands of Mitch’s job, but Emma is no wilting lily, proving she is a match for Mitch in every way."
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