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Comments

E.C. Henry

Timely post, Billy, as the May 1st Nicholl's deadline looms ever closer...

You're so right about angst, desperation, and general grouchyness writers are prone to express when faced with meeting a deadline. I know I've felt that way in the past.

Lately I've been going by a new rule when rewriting: rewrite untill the material becomes toxic, then call it good for now and get away from it.

Take the pressure off yourself to "be perfect." Writing is a progressive art. During a rewrite you go over and over and over the same material. After awhile, guess what, you're no improving anything. Infact, you may even feel the urge to toss your manuscript across the room. When that happens it's time to call it good for now, and GET AWAY FROM IT. Send it off to a fresh set of eyes and starting working on a different project, or re-stimulate yourself back into the love of writing by reading some good fiction from another writer.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Christina

I am in the "I'm so fucked" stage with my current project, a rom com I stalled out on between the 2nd and 3rd draft, after getting back some particularly caustic notes from a 23-year-old reader of a producer that was (and now isn't) interested in it. I have to start writing again soon, or marry rich.

MaryAn

This post is perfect for me and E.C. is right about your timing and the Nicholl deadline.

Wait. Who said that?

I'm actually in Christina's stage right now. But give me five minutes.

Patty

So the deadline has come and gone? Can't wait to hear what transpired.

For next time, maybe a different analogy--birth? Take advantage of all those supportive pain minimalizing therapies--hydrotherapy, massage, relaxation, breathing exercises, visualization, mindfulness? This one is way out, curious (just learned the word, myself) but maybe just the ticket: doula?

Barbara

Having just gone through revision hell myself, I feel your pain. I also like Patty's analogy above of birth - Yes, it's like dumping your kid into that FedEx chute when you mail your editor back the manuscript.

mernitman

EC: Yes, it's always a good idea to Get Out of the Room. I tend to have some of my best rewrite ideas in the shower.

Christina: Hmmm... Write again soon, or marry rich? A very Hollywood dilemma.

MaryAn: All you need is 5 minutes?! You're a better man than I.

Patty: Birth...! Why didn't I think of that? Seriously, though, your apt metaphors strike me as more appropriate for a first draft. When you're on your 8th-9th (really more like 15th-16th if you count interim passes through the ms.) even the world's best doula may not be able to assist. (There's some metaphor here about delivering a baby that's already full-grown and ugly, but I'm not gonna go there)...

Barbara: ...and don't you feel like you wish you could catch up with it on the receiving end and walk it up to the office, tie its shoelaces, etc?


Chris

Two(ish) days to Nicholl and I'm not even sure what stage I'm on anymore.

Is there a stage for just throwing any old shit in there and hoping to God that it doesn't sound like it came from a schizophrenic?

Brooke

Who knew writing was so much work? It looks like fun. All that sitting around in front of the computer drinking coffee.

Carrie Bradshaw sure made it look easy.

mernitman

Chris: Sounds like Acceptance to me...

Brooke: Damn that Carrie. Ever notice how she NEVER failed to come up with a pithy headline question in time for deadline? Only in the TVs...

karen

That's so funny and soooo true. I keep noticing those lumps of coal...not sure I've spotted any diamonds yet :)

mernitman

Karen, sad but true: We are all lumpy.

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