Got a call from my conscience last night, which was great timing as I’d just hung up on my consciousness at the time.
“So,” she said to me, in what can only be summed up as a nasal kaffe klatsch voice. What this said for my inner muse, I’m still wrestling with. “So,” she repeated, “how goes the writing?”
Blunt and to the point.
I stammered a little, hemming and hawing. I pointed out that in the last two weeks, I’ve cut over 6k words and 8 scenes (or is it 8k words and 6 scenes?). In light of that, the fact that I’ve added 5k in the last week is a good thing, even if most of that was written over the weekend.
She wasn’t impressed.
“Sounds like an excuse to me,” she said. “Does your agent let you make excuses?”
“I have an agent?”
“Your publisher then?”
“What? Wait, what publisher?”
“Exactly,” she reminded me. “You have no deadlines. You aren’t failing anyone if you don’t meet your quota. You also don’t stand a snowball’s chance of getting either of those if you can’t finish.”
“What are you trying to say to me?”
“You figure it out. You’re bright.”
“I’m not that bright,” I conceded. After all, I was having this mock conversation just to draw things out.
“You’re never going to get an agent if you don’t finish this book.”
“This one in particular?”
I could hear her moan on the other end. If I’d been thinking about it, I would have recorded my impressions of that moan, because they’d be perfect for our protagonists first encounter with the lurching, mucos encumbered underbeast that precedes any hero’s first encounter with the creatures that go bump in the night.
“You’ve got to write – and finish! – if you hope to make it in this business, kid. Otherwise you’re just going to be a wannabe writing silly blog posts when you should be hammering out the words. Speaking of, how many did you do today?”
“Only 200 so far.”
“After subtracting the parts I replaced, yeah.”
I could actually hear her disappointment from where I was sitting. It sounded like a violin being played by a piece of soft cheese, flavorful but still, a mess.
“What?” I asked. “Am I doing it wrong?”
“No, you’re doing it right. But you spend so much time fixing the words you have when you still have so much more to write. You’ll never finish at this rate. How much have you written total so far?”
“Really? Such an auspicious number.” Her voice trailed off in thought. “OK, here’s what I want you to do. Distract your blog readers with posts like this one, then sneak over and write some of those missing scenes. Fill in the gaps.”
“But what I’m writing now is straightening out what I wrote before, fixing it up.”
“You’re in no position to be fixing it yet,” she informed me. “No, what you need to do is keep notes in that fancy phone computer thing of yours. Every time you realize something is broken or wrong, write a note to fix it. And then you just keep writing until you finish the book. Then you can worry about whether you mentioned a cat or not before you cooked it.”
“You know about that?”
“Know about it? I invented your imagination. I know everything. And one more thing.”
“Get writing, because you have a deadline, and this fancy blog entry isn’t helping your word counts any.”