Head, Meet Desk


*whump   whump*


No, that’s not the sound of an engine attempting to turn over.  It’s the sound of my head repeatedly smacking my desk.  I suspect most writers have a similar sound, and the causes are numerous.  For me, lately, it’s been a struggle with the Notenoughhoursintheday syndrome, combined with a healthy dose of WhichwaydoIturn, and an occasional sprinkle of WhythehellamIdoingthisanyway.  That last bit is like a leaking nostril, you know the kind:  Can’t blow it out, can’t sniff it in, yet it runs constantly to the point you’re forced to walk around with half a Kleenex shoved up the offending orifice just to keep it contained.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a Pity Party.  I don’t have those.  I normally don’t attend them either, unless I’m wearing my pointy-toed boots.  My dad always told me to wear those particular boots if I intend on handing out arse kickings, which is generally the dish I bring to pass at Pity Parties.

I’m not even shopping for a cure because I know the only cures are within myself or in development.  But, dang it! and Grrrrrr! just when I think I have a plan forged in iron . . . *whump*

  • BD&L2 is rolling along like an ancient cart with wooden wheels on a rutted track.  But it is rolling.  I’d forgotten how hard it is to deal with a First Draft when you suffer from chronic Rewriteritis.  I thought I’d caged the internal editor and found my “Don’t look back even if you know it’s tripe” blinders.  Then yesterday’s session word count on the handy Scrivener tool that shows that gem, tallied my total as -789.  Yes, that’s a negative number.  I unwrote more words than I wrote.  Does the term FIRST DRAFT mean nothing to you, Schwengel?  It’s not that I obsess over word count.  But I do like to eek out 1k a day.  Going nearly 1k the other way . . . *whump*
  • Now that I finished the dreaded synopsis, BD&L1 is back to making the agent rounds, and I’m looking at small presses as an option for it as well.  I’ve been wavering on doing something about its word count (roughly 75k) because the Guidelines for just about all fantasy are 80-120k  But it’s done, leave it alone.  Is it really?  Even some of the small presses specify they won’t look at it if it’s under 80k.  Am I obsessing?  Possibly, BUT
  • As I get further into BD&L2 I’m feeling very strongly about going back and reworking bits of BD&L1.  *whumpwhumpwhumpitywhumpwhump*  Why?  <cue primordial scream> WHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY??!!!!???  Um . . . because things are developing.  Because there are nuances I may have missed.  Because . . . *whump*  Is this normal when writing a series or am I just in need of a white hug-me jacket?


  1. I feel your pain. I went back many times during the writing process of my last novel. Some big point would occur to me that would effect everything else forward in the story and I just had to go back and fix it so all would match up. The very idea of going back after the novel was done was more than I could handle. I told myself on this latest one I wouldn’t do that again, but I still find myself going back. Maybe some of us just can’t help it, but so long as we get it done eventually is it really a crime?

    Good luck in your writing. Hope you manage forward progress on the next round.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Susan. 🙂 I managed a bit of forward progress yesterday, so I’m much happier. *eyes finished ms in tray* So far I’ve resisted the urge to go back after book 1. I can hear the protestors in my head, yelling as they hold up their signs, “Book one is done! Book one is done!”

  2. Don’t. Go. Back.

    Call BD&L 80K. Nobody really cares anyway. Spend your time on the sequel. Get it done. Then write something totally different. Finish it, too. Then another. Get the idea? By the time you’ve finished your fourth or fifth, you won’t have any desire to change a word in book one.

    Honest. You may count on this.

    • I’m resisting. (Resistence is futile!) Seriously. I’ll . . . try. (There is no try. There is either do, or do not!) Okay, moving on.

  3. Sadly I can’t give you any sage advice and I don’t own any pointy-toed boots (how did that happen) – but I soooo get how you’re feeling. Put a pillow on your desk (or get hold of a hard hat) and let it all out…!

  4. If 5,000 words under some arbitrary number is enough for an agent or press to pass on a really good story, then it’s not hard to see why traditional publishing is in the uproar it is. Did that stop Hemingway from getting printed in an age when most novels were over 100,000 words?

    I know rules are different for us new writers than for the established set. But sometimes, the arbitrariness makes me question whether I want to try querying again or if I want to go indie.

    Yes, get that pillow on your desk before you do any damage to your head!

    • I should probably just pad my forehead. LOL I’m trying *very* hard to ignore the numbers and just move ahead. Pay no attention to the monkey in the corner . . .

  5. terrirochenski

    Oh, I’m VERY familiar with that whumping sound. Happens every day on my kitchen table – aka my writing desk.

    Great post!

    • Hi Terri, thanks for stopping by. I’m thinking padded desks may be in the future for us. In the grand scheme of things, better than a padded cell, I suppose. 😉

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