People notice when you don’t do these things.
People may not notice when you don’t write on your work-in-progress.
But, my people do.
Recently I’ve been reading the manuscripts of my fellow WhatWomenWriters. Julie and Joan just completed theirs and are gearing up for querying. Susan finished hers, too, and is about to send it to us—letting her family take the first pass—although I managed to wrangle an early draft from her. Kim is steadily plodding forward with her labor of love, and I get to see chapters as she goes.
Julie emailed me the other day: How is your manuscript coming along? Joan sent me a note: Feel free to send me some chapters. Susan said over lunch: So when was the last time you worked on your story?
Oh, I had excuses. Busy with work. Kids’ end-of-school-year activities. Mom here for a long visit. Finally, two Saturdays ago, Joan and I met for breakfast. I knew my explanations wouldn’t hold water with her. Joan knows my writing better than anyone; we co-wrote a manuscript together.
We talked about whether or not I still loved the story. I did. Or whether another story line was tugging at my heart. Not yet. “I just put everything else first,” I confessed.
That’s when this dear friend, who has a full-time job, a son who just graduated high school and a recently completed manuscript, told me her secret. “I got up an hour early every morning and wrote before I had to go to work,” Joan said. “Pick a time, every day, maybe from 10 to noon, and write it.”
And so I have. Not every day yet, but almost. I just passed the 30,000-word mark, so there’s no turning back. In fact, I got up the courage to send Joan two versions of one chapter I recently completed, as I am torn as to which version is more compelling. She wrote back: So glad you’ve picked this back up.
I’m so glad my people notice when I don't.