Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?

My husband has an amazing voice. (One of the reasons I married him, actually.) He's a baritone with a fabulous range and a tone like butter. Yeah, I lucked out.

But my point was not to brag. (Okay, a little, maybe.) Several years ago when we were newly married (read: before kids) he and I sang in a barbershop quartet. (Hi, low alto over here that can pass for tenor most days.) We sang an old barbershop song titled "How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?". It was about a young man who has a young lady actively pursuing him, and he wants to tell her to leave him alone, but doesn't know how. It's really cute and old fashioned, but the title has played many roles in my life.

One more recent one is that of placing a manuscript in a drawer (figuratively if you write on your computer) and letting it stew in there a while. I know that I am horrible at this. I think that all my stuff when it first flies out from my fingers is publishable. (I told you I had an ego problem.) I have to force myself to let things lie for weeks, sometimes months before I can revisit it again with a fresh eye with no more rose colored glasses.
I do this sometimes to myself, but most often after I've gotten a critique. Mostly because I have to let my ego heal (I told you I had an ego problem), but also so I can be objective about the advice given by the critter.

I usually only go back to it when the story won't leave me alone and I think about it all the time, wondering how my characters are doing.

I'm sure most of you are better at this than I am, but I was wondering how long you've let things sit. Joyce DiPastena is an author that I know from when we lived in Arizona after my hubby graduated with his undergraduate degree fourteen years ago. When I knew her, I didn't know she was a writer. (Come to think of it, I didn't know that I was a writer, either.) Anyway, she has a couple of great books published (sweet historical romances), and she mentioned on Facebook that she had dug out the first novel she ever wrote, written in college. (I won't make her hate me by guessing how long it's been. A few paltry years, I'm sure.) She commented that while she still liked the characters and the plot and general premise, the execution of it was horrible, so the writing would be 99.9% new.

How long do you let your babies stew?

(P.S. My husband finally got a job offer, but it requires a move...back to Arizona after 10 years back in Utah. We're very excited, but we have to be down there in about a month for him to start...and there is a lot to do between now and then, so I am going to "go away" for a while. Hopefully not longer than about 4 weeks, but I'm not sure. So now I'm giving you a chance to miss me. :P)


  1. So right! Now that you'll be in AZ in Feb. you should think about attending the ANWA Writer's Conference! It would be so cool to meet you in person!

  2. I'm not a good one to ask. I let my WIP "sit" last summer while the kids were out of school and two months turned into two more months. I think it's better if you set a date to return to it - like an appointment or something. Hey - let us know if you'll be at the ANWA conference - I'l love to meet you, too!!

  3. I hope I can make it...I'm praying that everything works out so I can come. I was so excited at the possiblity!



Related Posts with Thumbnails