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« About Book Proposals | Main | ArtsDay LA »

Comments

Jennifer

If you need some distraction while writing your novel/essay/memoir that never ends, last week's New Yorker has a great profile of Ian McEwan. It's fascinating to read as a writer since it covers his technical approach, but it's also full of just enough personal details to give you all the guilty pleasure of a People magazine celebrity profile read surreptitiously at the nail salon.

You have to register to read online: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/02/23/090223fa_fact_zalewski

Angela

Argh! Does it make you feel better that mine isn't even ready for an agent let alone a publisher? If I didn't work bass ackwards by writing it all first and then making it coherent later, I might be further ahead. Thank you so much for your blog. It's my company cause I have no cats.

Lisa Manterfield

Thanks for that wonderful image of you! I know those days. As you know, I have the memoir that never ends. I keep thinking up new angles and new ways to tell the story. And it's the story that never ends, too! I'm going to be a grandmother (step) in a couple of weeks, right around my 39th birthday. :-) More grist for the mill! For the sake of my sanity I keep working on other projects, but sooner or later I have to come back to "it."

It could be worse; your agent could be telling you to turn your manuscript over and use it as scratch paper. :-)

Laura Hoopes

Hi Barbara,
Yes, we can never be fired! What a lovely thought. It reminds me of an old song, maybe Eric Burdon, "You Can't Take Away my Music." I loved that thought too.

It's a choice, really, whether we focus on the opportunity to do what renews and refreshes us or on the less-than-perfect reaction to it by our readers. I suppose both are important, but one is more personal.
best,
Laura

Loren Stephens

Well, I am getting new clients, writing short essays, and teaching workshops -- and guess what. I haven't started word one of my memoir of my two Japanese mothers in law. Done the interviews, been to Japan, done the research and am getting calls about when is the book going to be finished. Great guilt trip, those calls. Diversionary tactics, all. Now I need to put the posterior in the seat and start. Truth is I am scared that I am not up to the task -- honoring these women, honoring my husband, etc. etc. Need support. And fear being alone at home (not that I would burn the house down). Hugs to you Barbara, and keep going. After all you are almost there. I haven't even gotten out of the starting gate. Loren

ElizabethE

I feel like I'm living the memoir that never ends and getting tired of it. Ugh...

To Teach the Teacher

Thanks for sharing your frustration, Barbara. Although I'm new to the writing on a regular basis thing, I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in feeling overwhelmed when it comes to finishing a piece.
~Theresa

mernitman

But it gets better each time, doesn't it?

Barbara

Jennifer - thanks for that heads up - I dug into my New Yorker pile and found it. A great article.

Angela - I love to think of this blog as keeping somebody company. Thank you.

Lisa - Oh and I've been told that on various other projects - turn it into scrap paper (though with euphanisms) Congratulations on the coming grandbaby!

Laura - Right - they can't take away the music or the paper!

Loren - Things sound like they're going wonderfully - but start that memoir! I want to read it.

Elizabeth - I totally understand the feeling!

Theresa - Welcome to the club. Being overwhelmed when writing never seems to end.

Mernitman - Well, certainly better than four years ago when you told me to cut the first 50 pages! (or was it 5 years ago?) Why can't we write these things in perfect first drafts?!

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Great Post! I love it.

Beverly Higginson

Barbara, are you kidding? I wish I could say I only had ONE never-ending story. My problem is starting several stories--not novels, that's way to scary--and being very excited when I begin, and then losing interest a few pages in. I tell myself, if I can't keep interested in writing it, why would someone be interested in reading it? Sabotaged before I really get off the ground. But I soldier on because I've had good feedback on my writing, and I really appreciate the 'Best Advice.' It helps a lot.

Takahiro

Hmm, writing goals I awayls have them 1) At least one e-book release (short story, novella, or novel) a month ~ right now I have things scheduled through May.2) Finish 6 stories in a new e-book series ~ I have one done.3) Write every day (I'm already lax on this one!). As long as I do 700+ words, I feel okay. If I do over 1500, I feel great!4) Finish one novel ~ I'm 11k into it so far, and I'd like to have it done by say June or so. Here's hoping!

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