It’s my novel and I’ll cry if I want to

So I am still in what I am loosely referring to as the ‘editing phase’ of my novel publishing adventure. I still lie awake at night completely terrified that my novel series will be a bust. I don’t know if it would be worse for it to be completely terrible or to get a reaction of polite indifference. Shakespeare said that “Expectation is the root of all heartbreak.” And my expectations are set perilously high. Now I have been heartbroken on a number of occasions. I can still count each scar from where I stitched my heart back together afterwards. It’s not pleasant. So I keep finding ways to drag my feet on the editing of my very first completed manuscript because I know once I’ve finished it, I will have to let my beta readers near it. Of course I have given a copy to who I affectionately call my ‘writing parabatai’ but that’s just because she’s always got my back and I know she will encourage me through everything. Not that I think she wouldn’t tell me if it stinks but the beta readers I chose, I chose purposely because they will be painfully honest. Emphasis on the painfully part.

It is very nerve-racking to pour so much of yourself into something, work so long on something, have such high expectations for something, only to have someone come along and say it’s not good. But this is the life of a writer, this is the life I chose to live, this is the path I have taken and I must face the consequences… Right after one more episode of The Big Bang Theory. And then of course the library books I requested from another library just came in so I need to read those first too. Then there’s the grimy feeling doorknobs that I need to wipe down with Clorox wipes, oh and the light switches too, what else do we touch every day? Do you see what I’m working with here? This is what has been happening to me for the past two weeks. I have been putting off my edits so I won’t have to put myself out there. Cause that’s scary and potentially heartbreaking and why do my expectations have to be so freaking high?!?

So what’s a girl to do? I can keep coming up with more ways to procrastinate (I’m really good at that!) or I can bite the bullet and get it done. I have tried a number of ways to motivate myself to finish. I’ve tried bribery, candy, junk food, steak, nothing worked. I tried negotiating, ‘how about you just do a little bit each day’ do you have any idea how hard it is to negotiate against yourself?! I tried setting a deadline, I told my beta readers I would be done in a week, that deadline passed a week ago. I tried whining to my writing parabatai, she gave me a bunch of awesome encouragement that got me super pumped up, but that just lead to binge watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. Sigh, so here I am, being honest with you my faithful readers. Perhaps public shaming will be what finally kicks my butt into edit mode and gets me to the place where I can send off copies to my beta readers. I guess you will have to tune in next week to see if it worked. Until then, be thinking of new ideas to help me over my slump, you know, just in case.

Oh look! My DVR has a bunch of NCIS shows I haven’t seen yet!

  • OKAY Kara…..Bite the bullet and get it done, girl. You have a great ability to write and anytime I see email from you, I read it right away. Now that says a lot, as I get tons of email. The next post from you will say, “I did it”

    Hugs from Illinois.

  • I’m no stranger to the scourge that is procrastination!! there will always be another episode trust me I’ve been through seasons while “thinking” about the next page.. (My novel is half way) I stay awake till all hours of the night and when I hear the birds chirping at first light I pat myself on the back although all I’ve really done is watch Sheldon sing “soft kitty” to Penny.. But I am sure your novel is made of good stuff so I will eagerly wait to read it.. Good Luck!! Enjoying your blog

    • Kara

      Thanks so much Katy! It’s nice to know I’m not alone but I’m sorry you have to suffer through the procrastination scourge as well. I’m doing a lot better now (I think haha) and hopefully my next blog post will be about how I finished my first round of edits. Comments like this really help keep me motivated to finish though, so thank you!

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