Sunday, June 3, 2012
Liz’s Lair: The Top Ten Reasons I Can't Finish My Manuscript
I know. I know. You've heard this before. You feel the need to offer me cheese with my whine.
And you would be right. It seems that with every book I write, I have the same writer's block thing going on. Here I am one of the luckiest writers out there—writing for two excellent houses with two fantastic editors. So, Lipperman, you ask, what the hell is the matter with you?
I'm asking myself the same question. So I decided to try to figure out what the hell is really going on with me, and I've come up with a favorite trick of mine—a top 10 list. Grab a cup of coffee, a cold Dr. Pepper, or a Margarita in a frosty mug—hey, it's five o'clock somewhere—and sit back while I psychoanalyze myself. Here goes.
#10—I'm addicted to the Internet.
I love Facebook. And I love chatting with people on blogs and on loops. I know this is a necessary part of marketing and keeping up with my craft and the writing world, but I have to find a workable medium. So I've decided, until October when CHICKEN CACCHIA-KILLER is due, I will allow myself one hour of Internet in the morning, and if I reach my goal of five new pages a day, then I can play on the Internet at night.
#9— It's summertime, and I want to play.
So do a lot of people, but they have day jobs and responsibilities. I need to view the playing as a reward for reaching my writing goals.
#8—I’ve overextended myself and feel overwhelmed.
So what else is new? This is how I roll, so why am I trying to slip it in as an excuse right now? I labeled myself a crisis junkie a while back since I feel like I do my best work under pressure. I need to quit whining and move on to another excuse.
#7—I'm selling my house and have to spend time getting things ready.
Although this takes up a lot of my time, I have writer friends who work 50 hours a week and still manage to meet deadlines. This is a lame excuse.
#6—I have to promote BEEF STOLEN-OFF when it releases in July.
Although this is a necessary demand on my time, it's not like it's been thrown at me at the last minute. I knew when I signed my contract that the month of July would probably be lost as far as creative writing goes. What good is it to write books if I don't promote them?
#5—I am Queen Elizabeth, the Queen of procrastinators.
Again, what else is new? I didn't get this way overnight. Somehow I have to find a way to fight my worst enemy—me. Those dust bunnies under my bed are kinda cute, anyway.
#4—I'm running out of ways to make the plots different.
That's what I have a critique partner, an agent, writing buddies, and the Plotting Princesses for. Another weak excuse.
#3—If I finish this one, I'll just have to start another one.
And what's so bad about that? It means a new contract and more money.
#2—If I finish this one, I'll just have to deal with reviews.
Oh, give it up, Lipperman. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it. Not everyone is going to like your books just as not everyone will like you. God, I hate that.
And the number one reason why I can't finish my manuscript is: It's way more fun telling people I'm an author than actually being one.
And there it is folks—the real reason. I like having people talking about my books; putting in the hours, not so much. In thinking about it I'm wondering when writing stopped being fun for me. I'm pretty sure it happened when I was introduced to deadlines. And rules. Before I was published I was writing for my own entertainment, and now I'm writing for others. I have to find a way to re-motivate myself into making writing fun again. I would welcome your thoughts and any ideas you might have that might help me.
In the meantime, I came across a video that uses a unique incentive to get women to ride bicycles more. It's a foreign ad for bottled water of some sort. Several women get on bikes and pump away as a huge building in front of them lights up with a male stripper. The more they peddle, the more he takes off. It's a Windows Media file and I've tried everything to get it on here, but I can't. (E-mail me privately if you want to see it.) The end of it shows the ladies have burned 2000 calories to get him where they want him. It's cool. My creative mind is already working on using the same thing to up my word count every day. What do you think? A shirt for a completed chapter??? Bring on the bikes.