Finals week(s), writer style

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I take a lot of pride in treating my writing like the job it is.

In a 2014 interview with fellow Montana novelist Craig Lancaster, I announced that “I have a rule about not writing in my jammies. I have to be showered and dressed, more or less presentably, before I start work.”

Um, Craig? I lied.

Not completely. That rule holds true for most of the writing. Until the very end, when all the rules go out the window. My lovely little schedule—writing in the mornings; beta-reading, blogging, marketing stuff—in the afternoons, flies away behind it. I’ve got proofs on Book 3 (Disgraced) due Dec. 1, and the manuscript for Book 4 due Dec. 15, so it’s fingers to the keyboard all day and into the night, and damn the unnecessary niceties of grooming, etc. It’s like finals week in college. Only longer.

IMG_5838(2)See that photo? Note: Panicked expression. Uncombed hair. PJs hidden by shawl. It was taken at 4 p.m. Yes, even as the dinner hour (to hell with dinner. What about cocktail hour?) approached, I had yet to shower or get dressed. But I had clobbered another few chapters into presentable submission, littering the floor with dead darlings.

That feels good. So does the fact that, after another few weeks, this craziness will be behind me. I can get reacquainted with soap and shampoo, my hairbrush, clothing beyond flannel and sweats.

The end is near, the end is near plays in the back of my brain like a threat and a promise, a little mantra that (nearly) obliterates the fact that beyond the achievements of sending off these two projects lies the abyss of the blank page, aka Book 5.

But that’s a long way off. For now, it’s back to the keyboard.


One response to “Finals week(s), writer style”

  1. Well, I’m just *shocked*.

    (Not really.)

    This is why I’m glad I don’t operate on manuscript deadlines. I write ’em when I feel like writing ’em, and look for a sale when it’s done.

    On the other hand: deadlines = fear of imminent demise = productivity.

    Glad you’re making it work, jammies or not.