October 9th, 2013

What I’ve been doing

I seem to have gotten away from posts about my personal writing process on this blog. I would love for the reason there to be that I am so much more comfortable and used to my own process now, after two books, that there doesn’t seem to be much more to say.


Though it wasn’t a conscious decision, I’m pretty sure not talking about the writing process has to do with my fear that I will never ever finish this book, or if I do it will be unpublishable and no one will ever read it–by talking about it, I’m just making people I’m aware that I’m trying to do something that later, when no book is forthcoming, be an obvious failure.

There, I said it. Whoo.

But whatever–I now know the first part of my fear, at least, isn’t true. I’ve completed a draft. It may be pretty far from a *final* draft, and who knows if it’s publishable, but it’s a complete set of all the stories (I think) the book needs to make sense. Right now, I’m reading quickly through each story for consistency issues (a few characters seem to switch around minor details like age) and obvious big problems. Then, and this is the best part, I put the good-as-I-can-make it story in the “Full Draft” document. So as I go, I get to accumulate word/page count (currently at 30 000/102, and counting). I’m also reading at a pace much faster than I normally do when I’m editing, and reading the stories as they were (I think) meant to go, one after another, as opposed to total immersion for months, followed by not thinking about or touching the story for months or even years. Some of this stuff I’d semi-forgotten.

It’s nice–not that I think the work is necessarily amazing or even good–it’s just nice to feel I did what I set out to do and wrote the book (or at least a version of the book) I meant to write. I’m going on 3 years on this project now, and this is the first time I felt like there was a real milestone.

What happens next? Someone smart and honest who loves me will read it and then gently tell me what needs to happen to make the book accessible to anyone who lives outside of my brain (full disclosure: I am married to this person). And then I will do those things, I hope. And then I’ll see what happens when someone who doesn’t love me reads it.

It’s a long long road, writing books, and at the end of the road might just be a field of lima beans. But along the way you get smarter, and the view is pretty nice.

9 Responses to “What I’ve been doing”

  • Ariel Gordon says:

    Lima beans forever!

  • AMT says:

    i am glad i am not the only one who came to comment about the lima beans! … is the collection called A Field of Lima Beans?

    also: if my other half was the first person to read my drafts… we would no longer be on speaking terms. however, i will chalk thqt up to the fact that we are in different academic subfields, so his first comment would be “i don’t understand the stuff after the title”.

  • Rebecca says:

    Er, what I meant by the lima beans is you know how you get lost in the country sometimes and you think you have FINALLY found the right road to get where you are going and then it deadends in a field? That happens writing books, too.

  • Julia says:

    Congrats on the draft (potential lima bean field notwithstanding)!!! But isn’t it usually thanks to the lima bean field that one ends up somewhere better in the end? Speaking of — have you ever tasted a raw lima bean? I had one in Newfoundland and immediately wished I hadn’t. Just don’t eat the beans if you happen to end up in that field…

  • Rebecca says:

    Hi Julia, Yes, a driver has to love all the detours that get her there in the end. But I keep dreaming of, just once, a straight road. Crazy, I know!

    There is a place on the Danforth that searchs marinated lima beans as an appetizer–they are lovely! I have never had them raw, and now I guess I won’t–thanks for the tip!

  • Julia says:

    OMG — whatever was I thinking. FAVA beans, not lima beans! Eschew the raw fava bean. Do whatever you wish with the lima!

  • Rebecca says:

    Oh, those were the things Hannibal Lecter ate with someone’s liver, right? I would never eat those!!

  • Kerry says:

    Congratulations. You are as talented as you are hard-working, and so I have no doubt that this is the beginning of great milestones re this book. xo

  • Rebecca says:

    Thanks, Kerry–I really appreciate your faith!!

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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