I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed blogging since hunkering down to finish Rescuing Christina, a YUGE book (for me) that I’ve been working on for the last five years. I didn’t realize when I started it how much my skills and knowledge about writing would have to develop and grow. It’s good I didn’t know; there’s no way I would have taken on the project had I known what a complete pain in the butt it would turn out to be.
Actually I would have; it was kind of like an assignment from the Boss, if you know what I mean.
I suppose taking on a narrative nonfiction story is about the hardest kind of book one can write. Not only does it require hours and hours of research, but then you’ve got to take all the minutiae you’ve gathered and frame it into a story that holds the reader’s interest. Oh, and not to mention that writing the story has been emotionally grueling, draining me as I returned to some of the most painful memories of my life…on purpose!…to be sure everything that needs to be included in the story is there.
This experience reminds me of when I got the bright idea to teach myself how to install crown molding…starting with the kitchen; the kitchen containing 7 bullnose outside corners, 6 straight inside corners, and several spans less than a foot in length between corners. Now that was a pain in the butt. The caulking gun became my best friend.
Caulking doesn’t work on books. I wish it did. But no. The passive voice, the errors in punctuation, and the sentence fragments (that are not part of the dialog, or so says my Developmental Editor who obviously hasn’t read Judith Guest’s Ordinary People) scream out to the reader, inviting their unwanted attention. They’re against me I tell you. There’s no glossing over those superficial and obnoxious missteps in writing. That’s not all…there are often deeper problems. There are characters to be developed, puffed up with multi-faceted personalities, body language quirks, and habitual facial expressions described in a way that makes an indelible impression on the reader. Oh yeah, and the scene setting, the pacing, the chapter length…good grief. Like I said, had I known I would have probably stayed in IT consulting.
Blogging is way more fun than writing narrative nonfiction. And now that I’ve nearly finished the book, I’ve decided to start blogging everyday. I did that once a few years back, trying it for 90 days straight. This time I’m trying for 180 days. I’d thought about 365, but I didn’t want to over-commit should I be offered an idea for another book and need to switch gears.
Anyway, as I become glaringly aware of how close I am to launching Rescuing Christina, I realize I haven’t given any thought to what comes next. Until now (this is an illegal sentence fragment). I’m suddenly wondering (and losing sleep over) what comes next (because God forbid Shannon should be without a project!), and since I don’t yet have a new writing assignment from the Almighty, I’ll blog.
You can call me God-Loving Woman, daily blogger extraordinaire.
“We’ll see how long this lasts.”
“What? Who said that?”