Sunday, October 23, 2011

Teddy Wants You to Quit Balking and Finish That Book

Checking in for Row80! My goals right now are all about revising, and I'm happy to report that I haven't derailed, despite attending an 8-hour work event on Saturday.

I only had 25 pages to read through this week, so I planned ahead and breezed through them by Friday. Today, I'm incorporating line edits and bigger changes for the first 50 pages into my manuscript doc. It's slow-going, but still satisfying.

I also reorganized the notes I have for the broader changes I need to make. They range from switching someone's name to rearranging entire chapters. This part gets a little sticky. One of the greatest things about writing a book is that you get to create everything - you are an architect, fashion designer, governor, CEO, psychologist, and sometimes chief torture agent.

Given all these fancy responsibilities, there are times I seriously don't want to make a decision. I wish someone would just tell me what to do. Beta readers and critique groups can give you ideas, but ultimately it all comes down to you and what you decide. Ditch an entire character? Rewrite the beginning? Switch from third-person to first? The pressure... the pressure!!!

This quote is a nice motivator for me when I want to demote myself from all responsibility:

Theodore Roosevelt: In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

I've been stuck doing nothing before, and it definitely is the worst.  Happy writing (and rowing) all!


  1. Oooh, aren't you just full of goodies!I love the line "you are an architect, fashion designer, governor, CEO, psychologist, and sometimes chief torture agent." And that Roosevelt quote is going on my wall immediately. Kudos to you for keeping up with your goals! --Yolanda Early

  2. Good quote to remember. It's fun to be in charge of something finally. Good job on your goals!

  3. Despite your indecision, it does sound like you're making progress. Sometimes moving forward is better than doing nothing at all. Great quote to go by. I like it!

  4. Great quote! Decisions, decisions :) It still sounds like you made good progress with your goals. Keep it up and good luck with the upcoming week.

  5. @yolanda - thanks so much! and kudos to you, too :)

    @heather - definitely as fun as it is frightening

    @mistress - it's not ever day teddy roosevelt motivates ya ;)

    @raelyn - thanks! and good luck to you as well

  6. You sound like you are at the same point as I'm at. My row 80 goals mostly are about editing. I've made some major changed the last couple weeks. At first it's sort of painful, but then it feels pretty good. Good luck on your continued success! And nice to meet you!

  7. Love the quote! I love that we control everything in our book but I agree - sometimes there's a lot of pressure to get it right.

  8. @jillian - nice to meet you too! and i look forward to hearing about your progress.

    @ghenet - yay teddy r! write night definitely helps me from balking or not writing period, so there's that ;)

  9. Great quote, Gina, and so true...but you had me at proclaiming that we get to be architect, fashion designer, CEO, governer...and chief torture agent! Ha. Oh, the power!

  10. Great quote, Gina. I've been stuck on "nothing" too, and have to agree its much,much worse than doing "wrong".

    Good luck with the rest of your week. I'm glad you stopped over and let me know you are a MG writer too!!!

  11. @nadja - with great power, comes great... you know :)

    @bridgette - thanks for coming by! i love "meeting" other middle grade folks :)