Wednesday, July 09, 2008


It's been almost a month since I sent The Enclave in to Bethany House and I've been bemused by the persistent blankness I'm continuing to experience when it comes to the written word. I wasn't surprised I'd have that during the first week afterward. Or even the second, but I am surprised it's persisted all the way into the fourth. I can talk all right, but when it comes to writing -- answering emails, writing a newsletter, updating my website, writing blog posts, even writing in my personal journal -- I'm still mostly coming up dry.

Part of that has to do with the routine we've established with Quigley, where I bring him in after Bible Class around six and then we take him for a walk or to the dog park. I used to go into the office afterward and write a post, but this past almost month, I've been too tired. Or we've gotten back so late, that it's time to get ready for bed (on account of the heat and having to wait until it's cool enough to walk) (cool enough being 100 degrees, or mid 90s).

I check email, see I have a ton of reader letters to answer, but can't seem to muster any gumption to start answering. Not even personal emails to friends. I've been doing other things, as I mentioned, but I really thought that would come to an end before I got the editor feedback on Enclave. Obviously it hasn't.

My editor wants the final draft by Oct 1. Since I'd been thinking I'd have til Nov 1 (not because anyone said I would, just because I think that's when I was supposed to have turned in Return of the Guardian King) and also that I just might be able to pull that off, it was a bit of a shock to have the deadline be a month earlier. I'm pretty sure I could email her about that, and maybe I should. Maybe the whole psychological game of setting a deadline earlier than I think I can manage, is just a sham and has no effect at all on my actual rate of progress, and only sets up another opportunity to fail.

If I was doing something that involved a clear direction and continuous actual things to do, it would be easy. But when it comes to those sections that are wrong, and you have to come up with something else that actually works, but you have no idea what it is... those parts usually take days of working at, thinking about, staring out the windows and so forth. There's no way to predict how many of those there'll be or how long they will last.

I really don't like writing to a deadline. I don't think it helps me at all, and I have been thinking more and more that perhaps I'm just not suited to the whole hurry up and turn it out climate of current day publishing. It still takes me as long as it ever did to write a book, and while I might actually turn things in sooner than I otherwise would have, I have the sneaking suspicion that it's at a cost to the quality of the manuscript.

Well, I've used up my words. Time to go think about dinner. But hey, I did a post today!