Saturday, March 08, 2008

Really Done...

No, really.

I did a little polish last week, emailed the book on Monday, and it's done, baby. Next up —

Well, that's a little complicated. The short version is, we start submitting. Rather, my! agent! does. The long version has to do with the intersection of my writing and my working in the entertainment industry. I'll leave it at that.

Mainly, my work on the book really is done for the time being, and it's up to the agent from here. I trust him, and I'm happy to have the MS off my metaphoric desk (which in my case would be my lap) and on his.

Being done is interesting. I did a lot of drafts of this book. Some were a lot more fun than others. Some felt like I just dragged myself to the end, to the point where I was so utterly exhausted by it that I couldn't possibly change another word.

The last major revision,when I finished, I was, for once, relaxed. For one thing, I already had the contract at that point, so I wasn't stressing out quite so much about how it would go over. Mainly, I knew I'd nailed it. Almost. Whatever wasn't quite right would be easy to fix. And it was.

But still...those few things I tweaked and moved and polished...those little things weren't quite right, and it wasn't until after I fixed them that I finally felt done.

It's hard to explain, and honestly, I'm not always good with words. I'm not an essayist, and I swore that I was not going to be one of those bloggers who writes a lot of narcissistic posts about my feelings; I'm not sure they are all that interesting to anyone, not even to me.

But being done is interesting. Feeling that sense of completion, like a bunch of tumblers in a lock finally clicked into place; it's done. I'm open.

Which begs the question, what now?

I have a really hard time starting new projects. Once I finally get going, I'm pretty consistent and obsessive. I don't write fast but I write hard, and I don't stop till I'm done. But starting...ugh.

I have a couple of ideas for new books but haven't done the prep to really start either of them, and in any case, I'm told it would be smart to wait for some feedback on the Book That Is Done before I commit to the next project.

I have some stuff I could work on in the meantime. Trashy Novel 3, I could finish that. I have an old screenplay that I still think is funny and relevant at its core, if I totally tore it apart and reworked it, that is.

Plus, I have this blog. If I'm fortunate enough to sell the book, I need to look at ways to promote it and myself as a writer. I've been looking at some writers' blogs, and they are really impressive — a lot of consistent work and thought, and many more bells and whistles than this one.

The focus of this blog has never been my writing; it's been a catch-all for China topics, political musings and the occasional post about how the novel has eaten my brain. I'm not a China expert, and as mentioned, I'm not an essayist, so it's not clear to me that I should focus exclusively on China-related topics. On the other hand, I might want to start a different blog that's only about my writing. One that uses my full name. Or the name I decide to publish under. I'm looking for pen-name suggestions, by the way...

So, do I build up this blog? Start a new one? What kinds of things do I need to add and consider if I want to promote my writing?

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