Midday Musings

Hello, September.

The heat wave has finally tapered off, and in a few weeks it’ll feel like fall. I’ve lived in this apartment for almost a year (believe I moved on October 9th). Come mid-November, I’ll have been a full-time freelancer for a year, which is startling as hell to think about.

Interesting upside of working from home: I get sick a lot less. Well, let me rephrase that. I haven’t had a proper cold since I left the office arena at the end of 2010. I’ve had food poisoning and stomach bugs, and some days I’ve felt crummy, but the only nasal problems have been my allergies. I firmly believe this is because I’m not sitting in a freezing building with recycled air and 150 people made ill by said recycled air, the bunch of us constantly reinfecting each other.

As for work-life balance…I’m happiest when I’m doing some form of work, ideally working on fiction, but occasionally editing fills in the void, too. As I get older, I become less inclined to go out dancing or partying, and prefer quiet time with a good book and the bird…provided the bird doesn’t try to eat the book.

With that said, it isn’t a balance yet, and probably won’t be for a long time. Not the ideal balance, anyway. I’m starting to think you need to be really wealthy to have the real balance…or at least more successful than I am (granted, that’s not difficult in my present circumstances).

I promised myself I wouldn’t noodle around with Once anymore, but…we know how that goes. Clarified a few things here and there. Need to change out a word for computer that came too close to the “datapad” of the Star Wars universe. The editing side of me wants to revamp, revise, redo; the writer side of me shrieks stop, you’ve done enough already! 

While we were at a cousin’s wedding several weeks ago, Aunt Tia (yes, I realize it’s redundant, but I called her Tia long before I realized it meant “aunt” en espanol) told me the way she continues to thrive is “never stop trying.” I remember reading a quote about that in one of my writing books, and it specifically had to do with revision…something about the writer always improving and never being fully happy with his work. You can be content with a book: “This is a good story” and still think of a frillion and one ways to change it, update it, fix it, kill it. The key is figuring out when something needs work vs. the inner editor just wanting to tinker for tinkering’s sake.

Clearly, I haven’t figured that out yet. I do blame my line of work; over the years, I’ve grown more critical of every kind of writing, including my own.

I did take a recent step closer to learning when to listen to the editor vs. telling it to shut the hell up. Cordeilla’s opening chapter from In Fortune’s Hall took 3.5 rewrites before I was happy with it. That’s not adding words here and there, or revising a couple paragraphs; that’s changing up all her opening scenes, moving her from one location to the next, changing who she interacts with…because it just didn’t feel right. I knew it wasn’t right.

Whereas I look at Once and want to tinker because tinkering is fun–not because something doesn’t feel right.

So if I can successfully learn to distinguish between the two with all my work, I might actually get something out there one of these days.

Taking a break from work to read a chapter of Neverland by Douglas Clegg, then it’s back into the Gulf of Paid Work. I think tonight I might run to Staples and print out hard copies of Once. Then I think I’m going to switch gears and work on my zombie story for a bit…oh, and practice formatting. Yes, that will be a hoot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.