Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Emerging from the woods

At least for a few days. The strange thing about "finishing" a manuscript is that you don't really finish it. Certainly, you conclude, but there's always another draft—this description could be more vivid, that line could read smoother. However, I am displaying my gained wisdom by allowing this dear one to sit completed for a spell, while I finish something else.

The elation from having one thing buzzes in your brain, it whispers intently about possibilities for the second book, and it nags about the little fixes and changes that it always knows you need to work at for the just finished. The only real way to silence it is to throw a completely different project at it, and wait as it flounders, struggling to find its footing on ground that's become water.

I am not ruled by my muses, but I do not "punish" them or myself, either. If the words aren't coming, then I go do something else. There is no use withholding things I enjoy as a reward for meeting a daily word goal. Meeting the goal is its own reward.

Yet, at the urging of Vicki, I did celebrate the important step of completing the first draft. I spent Friday dreaming, and Saturday out with some friends. Sunday I undertook the important task of taking care of myself, it was time for a haircut and color, something I had neglected in my push to ran that final mile of the manuscript.

The cut and color didn't happen until yesterday, when I closed the book on the, er, book. For the past two or so years, my hair has been every color of red. It's not red anymore. Nor is it the same length and style that it had been since I started the manuscript.

Through reinventing a story, I began to understand the importance of remembering to reinvent ourselves. Sometimes to make a clean break, we need a physical gesture as well. Why else would so many of us go get a haircut after a relationship terminates? I'm not breaking up with my manuscript, don't worry, I'm calling it quits with defeatist attitude that had been impressed on me during my chicl-lit-ish learning experience that began my summer.

That it happens to coincide with the arrival of September—my birthmonth—well, that's an auspicious sign, as well.

See you in two weeks, KT.


Rachel said...

Well, cool!

Karen said...

Forget the book... what's your hair like?! ;)