Monday, June 1, 2015

Moving On

I am in a strange place. A place I've been in many times before. My novel, The Book That Matters Most, is in my beloved editor's hands. She will have many brilliant things to say that will involve revision. Maybe lots of revision. But for now, I'm waiting. This reminds me of the Dorothy Parker story "The Telephone" (if you haven't read it in awhile, here you are:!

But friends, there's only one thing to do in this precarious state: move on to the next novel. 

For months now I've had the amoeba of an idea knocking at my brain. And now I have 5--5!--pages of what will someday be a novel. The excitement of this precious thing, a glorious mess of characters and ideas and notes, gets me through the waiting. My goal is to write at least a page a day. Yesterday that meant writing at 9 last night because, well, my day got a little crazy and I bought this:

See? Crazy things happen in this waiting period. 

More crazy things: I've been up since 3:30 listening to the rain and thinking about today's page. Should I stick with this character? Or move into the POV of the woman in 1952 Naples Italy?

Why am I telling you this? For the writers among you, it's good hard earned advice. Don't sit by the phone. Start something new. Dive into it. Get excited. Buy a new car. Knit a blanket. (That's the other thing I'm doing)

If you're not a writer, I think it still applies, doesn't it? Don't sit by the phone. Start something new. Dive into it. Get excited. But a new car. Knit a blanket. Read this Mary Oliver poem:

The final line of that poem?
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"