Grounding Myself


Apologies for not blogging for such a long period of time.  As I’ve mentioned before, I finished the rough draft of my first novel this past May, and after “letting it rest” for three months — basically letting myself forget about it completely so I could come back to it with fresh eyes and really see what did and didn’t work in it (the story is great but my language is too bare) — I began editing the rough draft a couple of weeks ago.  Needless to say, I’m still working on this first edit, and I will be editing it for a very, very long time in all likelihood.  I learned from the rough draft that what they say about how writing the rough draft of a novel is like giving birth to a baby is all too true.  What they don’t tell you, though, is that editing the rough draft is like trying to stuff the baby back in feet-first.  Given that it’s taken at least a dozen edits to get any of my short stories to the point where I was comfortable sending them out to potential publishers, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still doing serious revision work on the novel this time next year.

In addition to not posting here as often as I should be, I can’t help but notice that I’ve let too many other aspects of my life wither as I’ve been throwing all my energies into my writing.  I haven’t had a single social outing since May, I’m not getting the exercise I need, and I find myself wanting to cut out more and more things from my life when I really should be working on getting out more often and doing different things.  More and more I find myself mimicking my father’s workaholism, and given his inactivity, spending most of his waking hours in front of a computer screen, was a key factor in his early death, I need to make sure I don’t meet the same fate.  At the same time, though, I’m on a roll with this first novel and the screenplay I wrote from it, as well as other writing projects I have right now (I’m over 42,000 words into my second novel now), and I need to make use of the momentum I have for my writing.

Thankfully I have a big teaching load this autumn, so that’s going to get me out of the house a fair bit.  There’s a big social opportunity for me later this month as we;;, and assuming I go (I may need to skip it due to other considerations), I’m hoping I can talk to friends there about helping make sure I get out and about more often.  I’m going to try to cut down on how much I follow politics — honestly, it’s just getting too depressing lately — and although I’m not going to follow them as religiously as I used to, I’ll try to catch some Red Wings game this upcoming season.  I also need to get back into exercise, which is perhaps the most infuriating thing for me because I spent so much money on all these exergames and I just don’t use them as often as I should.

I hope this shift in my living patterns will also mean more regular blogging, although my posts are probably going to move away from the political essays I’ve been writing this past summer, and more towards personal musings and anecdotes.  All things being equal, though, when I’m in front of this computer I can’t help but want to be working on other writing projects.  As much as I love the .org, it doesn’t have the potential to help me pay my bills that these other projects do.  With any luck, soon I’ll be able to announce one of these projects coming to fruition and finding a buyer somewhere, but that won’t happen unless I take the time to make them letter-perfect.  I just need to make sure I take the time to do some living in between my working sessions, get away from this computer and recharge my batteries.  Any help any of you can provide with this, whether you live in Toledo or Timbuktu, would be appreciated.

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