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Rewriting: My non-advice

August 13, 2017 by Diane

Remember way back when, before the dinosaurs, I told you I was rewriting my novel? I scattered bread crumbs so you’d know which direction I was heading, secretly hoping you’d join me on the journey.

I got as far as step 4.

Then I stopped posting updates.

The truth is, I got lost. I tried following the expert’s maps, but managed to wind up in a thick, dark forest, bumping from tree to tree, unable to find my way.

I came to the painful realization: I need to take off the blinders. I need to forge my own path. I need to rewrite my novel the only way I know how: through draft after draft. It’s what I do well, drafting. Hopefully I’ll need fewer drafts to get to a point where I see the story taking shape. But with each draft, I’ll get closer to discovering my unique craft as a writer.

I can’t write about rewriting, because it’s a path that may lead me to places that aren’t on your agenda. It may lead us both astray, at a dead end, gazing at each other, saying, “What now?” My map might not be your map. Where I take the scenic route, you might want to zip down the highway. Where I meander like a snail, you might want to soar like an eagle.

So my advice is to give no advice.

Instead, I’ll rewrite my novel.

I thought I’d send you postcards of my  journey as I go, not with the purpose of getting you to join me, but more like, “Hey, this is where I am. What’s the view where you are?”

But then I wouldn’t be rewriting my novel.

I could distract myself by posting squirrelly escapades for your amusement.

But then I wouldn’t be rewriting my novel.

I could make up questions for Dear Digby since NO ONE is submitting any, and then post my squirrelly answers.

But then I wouldn’t be rewriting my novel.

What I’m saying, in a roundabout way, is that I’m going fishing (again). This time, to catch the big one.

The novel.

I’ve got a writing buddy to keep me accountable. I’ve got two short stories in the pipeline to submit to journals, to start building a writer’s platform and attract an agent’s attention.

I don’t know how long I’ll be gone.

But you’ll know when I’m back.

Until then, (so you don’t think I’m being a lazybones), here is a taste of the first scene of the first chapter of my novel. Subject to change, mind you.

Until next time,

Happy Trails!

 


17 Comments »

  1. Riley says:

    Totally understand. I am excited to read your manuscript!! I will miss your blog but I applaud you for taking your own path and prioritizing your hearts desire.

    I haven’t been writing much this year but hoping to get back to it soon. I have been overwhelmed by a lot of big hurdles this year.

    • Diane says:

      Sometimes we need to take a break from writing, when life becomes overwhelming. When the time is right, you’ll get back to it. And it will help you heal. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Riley!

  2. Pearl Allard says:

    Diane, way to set your priorities. You know we’re here when you get back. Go get ’em!!! (I tried to think of a question to submit to Dear Digby once long ago…somehow ended up distracted and still without a question. Go figure.)

  3. Joan says:

    I will definitely miss reading your posts but I am very happy for you! Good luck on your novel …I have all the faith that it will be truly amazing because you are a fantastic writer!!! We all know that…now it’s time for you to believe it too! Enjoy the process!! Love you lots, Diane. Ps the beginning is great…I want more!!!!!!!!!

  4. mydangblog says:

    Happy writing (and rewriting)! Looking forward to your return!

  5. Nancy Clark says:

    You have made a wise decision, Diane! I have been toying with a similar choice to make finishing the first draft of my great-grandfather’s biography a priority for the next few months. Can’t quite clear my entire schedule, but am going to eliminate as many obstacles as I can, and we’ll see what happens.

    Thanks for sharing the first scene of your book, by the way. Your writing style is crisp, flows well, and leaves me wanting more! Keep going!!!!

  6. Sarah says:

    Damn I’m so excited for you. Go. Write that novel. This post is so spot on. I’m trying to get my priorities straight right now so this hit me. Also… “My map might not be your map…” Yes! That, too. Stay awesome.

  7. Anita Weisheit says:

    i’m kind of in the same boat, rewriting my novel and submitting short stories. i still keep up with my blog, but you are 100% right. we need to make rewriting our novels a priority! i’ll miss your posts, but good luck on the novel! i look forward to seeing the finished product 🙂

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