Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Diary of a Crazy Writer

I know I usually pick a topic and write about it, but today I'm going to go a little 'Diary of a Crazy Writer' on you.  Partially, because I only have twenty minutes to write this post and partially because I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

In the last two weeks I've generated twenty thousand words.  That's a lot, a whole lot!  At least it is for me.  Twenty thousand words means I'm planting my tushie in a chair and typing as fast as I can type, with a few moments here and there to think, for a solid three and half hours.

I've heard he's great about deadlines.
Which is all fine and good.  I'm a writer so I'm supposed to write, every single day (although unlike Stephen King and many of my less famous cohorts I don't attempt to write anything but blog posts on the weekends).  Except, there's this little deadline that's nagging at me.  The one that's found in the back of Losing Beauty right above the first chapter of Losing Hope.  The one where it says "A Special Preview of Losing Hope coming March 2012"  Every time I see that I hyperventilate a little bit.

I'm funny about deadlines. 

When I was working at my law firm people would say things like, "Do you think you can review all these documents and get back to me by tomorrow?" 

And I would shake my head sadly and say, "Probably not.  I probably won't be able to give you any kind of real feedback for at least three days." 

Which is the worst thing to say when people are paying you real money to work for them EXCEPT it didn't take long for everyone to figure out I would then stay up all night long until I had a working version of any given transaction rattling around my brain.  See!  I like to set expectations low so I can consistently outperform expectations.  But this time I can't.  There's no room for me to say Losing Hope won't be finished until next summer, at the earliest, and then wow everyone when I produce it in February.   

Is this guy edible?
Okay, so you're probably thinking, "She's got until March.  What's the big deal?"  Wait a minute, that's not what you're thinking at all.  You're thinking, "Thank God, I don't have to live with or near that crazy lady."  And yes, you're right.  I'm a little crazy.  But I can't get into that right now because I've got to finish the first draft of Losing Hope.  And then edit it and edit it and edit it some more and did I mention I promised someone I would turn Losing Beauty into a screenplay by the end of November? 

And somewhere in the midst of everything else I'll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the ones I love.  Do you think anyone would notice if I served marked up pages instead of turkey?    


Sarah Tokeley said...


I've got no advice, except to say don't serve up your pages unless your guests are going to edit them for you, if they eat them you'll have to start again.

Best of luck, and we'll be ready with a drink for you when you're done :-)

SBJones said...

Deadlines are good. They force us to produce results. Look at the time. I have 8 hours left to crank out two chapters and 4,000 words.

Hart Johnson said...

I think I'd be panicked, too. I write really pretty fast, but my editing and revising process takes several iterations with some down time in between so I can look at it fresh... You can do it, though--nose to the grindstone...

I'm amazed you had an excerpt ready to share, actually, if the book wasn't done, but that is just process, too--I don't clean at all until I have a first draft... see. We're all crazy.

Johanna Garth said...

Thank you Sarah!

SB, you're right but I always worry about the quality of what I'm producing.

Hart, I wasn't ready, but then I had a week mid-summer to edit what I had and somehow it came together and I knew the beginning was if I can just get the middle and end to feel the same way.

Tamara Narayan said...

I can understand why publishers want to put previews at the end of books, but I can't stand reading them. They get you interested in the story and then, BAM!, it's over and the real release date is months away.

I make a mental note that another book by that author is coming out, but I've stopped reading them. I've also noticed that the preview and the end product are not exactly the same in some instances. Great ideas don't always follow deadlines.

Good luck!

Trisha said...

I'm lucky right now, because my only writing deadlines are self-imposed. I would totally hyperventilate too if I had one set by somebody else! Argh!

M.J. Nicholls said...

I envy you having someone standing over you with a rolling pin and a contract, forcing you to write. It's the best way. Or, as like Douglas Adams said: "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

The Bookworm said...

Good luck Johanna!