Saturday, May 19, 2007

How Quickly One Slides Back into Hate

So I'm at a local coffeehouse again. I'm here to work on Chapter 4. A good one-third of it needs to be totally revised. Radically revised, because I think my message is getting drowned out -- and of course in reading it over again, I see there are all these great points that are sort of buried in it. Have I even opened the e-file? No. But I have written all over the paper copy and gone back and read some source materials. That's something, isn't it? I had wanted to pound out the whole revision today, because tomorrow WSF needs me to help clean his almost empty apartment. (So sad.) But I'm totally down and almost full of hate. I wanted to begin a new health regimen, but may have to have a caramel mocha to spur me on. After this revision, the whole thing will be with my readers -- and good riddance!

I don't want to work. I don't want to do anything. I'm sad because I got a rejection in the mail today. (PSA: Do not check mail before working.) The letter from the editor was somewhat helpful, pointing out a (ultimately probably helpful, but initially totally spirit-crushing) critique. Well, I guess I'm a wimp who can only take one critique at a time. I feel like moping like a sad dog. I'm totally ridiculous. But I'm in mourning for the possibility of that journal publication and the deep critique of the work. Oh well.

I need to WORK! How do I get myself into working? Clearly, a caramel mocha must be had. It's just not possible to work without it. One cannot dissertate and diet at the same time; it's just mean to one's writing self. The writing self needs chocolate, sugar, caffeine, and whipped cream. I mean, what's a writer to do? I need to harness the writing self, and she has needs. So there's that rationalization out of the way. (See how productive I am?!) Then what? Well, I should probably go back to either free-writing what I'm kind of thinking about as a rewrite. (That's what it is: a re-write. I have to find a new way in. A new frame. It must be done. It will be so much better than what is there now. I know it.) And then I should go back into the source material and copy out all the quotes that seemed so perfect a couple hours ago and then write from them. I hope that with the original, a free-write, and a bib-ish focus on quotes, I'll then only have to string the damn thing together and edit it. I've already worked -- what? 1-1/2 hours. Sigh. I'll stay here long enough to drink a caramel mocha (of course), do the free-writing and working with source materials. Then it'll probably be time to take yet another nap. I think I'll go home for the nap. As Bridget Jones says, good plan.


Sisyphus said...

Ahh, love this post title!

Hmm, what are these miraculous-sounding things? A caramel mocha, you say? Fascinating. I have been missing out on the true meaning of life all this time.

Rejections suck. I never did rewrite that article that got rejected; after thinking about it a long time I tend to agree that other people pretty much covered my angle on that book, so ... onward and upward! I have other things to finish and send off as articles. If you want some useless advice, my advisor told me to immediately change the changes they suggest and slap it back in the mail for somewhere else before you can second-guess yourself, take a week at most. Cause I'm sure you have nothing else to get done this week! Heh.

With the revising, you can try getting out a fresh sheet of paper and recopying or outlining the essay from memory ---- trying to remember what you said and in what order helps expose what are the really important things you want to highlight, and what is less important but you got hung up on and explained too much. Of course, then you have _two_ sets of passages to interweave and revise into each other, yuk!!!

May your revising go better than mine!

post-doc said...

Rejections suck. Regardless of how helpful the suggestions are - it's still a sucky experience. I'm sorry.

Good luck with the chapter - I hope th caramel mocha gives you tremendous power! :)

gwoertendyke said...

i have no words of wisdom but agree that your title rocks. try not to get weighed down by feeling rejected though. i've always been told that one could cover their office (or bedroom, in my case!) with rejection notices for every one accepted piece.

Earnest English said...

Sis and Post-Doc: Caramel mocha. Gives on writing wings. Also makes butt big. Beware. You might get hooked.

AH: Of course you're right about the rejection. WSF will no doubt say the same thing tomorrow when he makes me a mountain of blueberry pancakes. Still, I think it wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't had to revise the beast and not be like the dork I wanted to be, pouting and licking my wounds.

gwoertendyke said...

mmmm blueberry pancakes. you make me hungry! i know. it sucks. and i'm sorry. i will no doubt be writing you soon with the same rejection news. we can be dorks together.