Friday, September 10, 2010

Writing, Bonsai and Other Disasters

Revisions, Editing, Polishing, Drafts, Rewrites...

Whatever you choose to call it, I'm knee deep in the muck.

When I'm sitting quietly with my thoughts, I imagine revisions not unlike pruning bonsai. 

Any growth that does not belong gets eliminated. Every word must be justified; every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter edited to its most honest, authentic shape. 


Art and function must coexist and move the story forward.


Marcus Aurelius said, “Nowhere, either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble, do we retreat than into our own souls,” into what Melville thought of as “that quiet, grass-growing place” where a writer ought to work. 








I need the time, the spaciousness, to find that grass-growing place so that I can complete this WiP (the sexy working title: 'WiP 3'-- I know you're jealous). 


I will be going unplugged the next couple weeks, posting and commenting only sporadically (maybe an hour/week). 


I will try to zip through my reader, keep tabs on everyone from a distance. I'll check my email once/day and return any pressing emails. 
And, of course I will read your comments. I'll need them to get me through.


But I need to retreat into my writing self for a little while


I hope you understand.




Lastly, I'd like to welcome all my new friends. I look forward to getting to know you. 


In the meantime, feel free to look through my old posts...
and please visit my friends in my blog roll, and my friends in my comments. They're lovely. 


Please tell me, how is YOUR writing going?


Will YOU be joining me doing NaNo in November? 
(Buddy me there at: the-sharp-pen







Love...always,
Lola

94 comments:

Tatiana said...

Good for you. I feel like I need some time as well. One paragraph in two days is not good. And I've only just started. So that, one opening paragraph (that's probably going to get tossed tomorrow)...sigh.

Good luck!

Catherine A. Winn said...

I know just how important this is, so take the time you need. I'll be doing NaNo again myself. See you there!

AlexOngNYC said...

I'm doing the same, at least for the weekend! Need to write, write, write!

Alex
Breakfast Every Hour

Carolyn V. said...

I hope you get tons of writing done!!! I've been debating on the nano. I have to start classes next week, but I really want to write! =)

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Awe, will miss you! But you make the best of this time and get done what needs to get done on sexy WiP #3. Look forward to hearing your progress.
My progress...standstill. sigh.

C.E. said...

Hope you can get a lot of work done! I need to be following your example too actually but it's sooo hard!

Excited to hear how the progress goes!

T.J. Carson said...

Sometimes you need to take a break from blogging to get things done. That's what I did. Didn't meet my goal, but got almost half a novel done. Good luck on your WIP (and yes... very jealous of WiP 3... shoulda thought of it first =p) YOU CAN DO IT!!!

T.J. Carson said...

Ha just realized I had never been following you, yet I've always visited your blog and given you awards. haha. My bad, hope you didnt' think i'm an awful blog friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meredith said...

Good luck with the retreat into your writing self! Going unplugged can be so liberating. I hope it works out well for WiP 3!

Jayne said...

What a lovely picture to end your post. I really hope you have a productive unplugged couple of weeks - go you! *shakes pom-poms*

Lickety Splitter said...

Oh yeah, I totally understand! Even if one isn't a professional writer, retreating into one's own soul is often essential. It's my safe place ;) The place where I offend no one but me, and I'm very forgiving of myself, if I am NOT out there making a complete idiot of myself in the presence of others. I'm working on my OWN character and that isn't for the weak of heart. It's exhausting work, and an inner retreat is always welcome.

Liza said...

Good for you! Enjoy your writing time and best wishes! My mom used to grow bonsai's. What a perfect description of editing!

Mary said...

Way to go! I'm doing the same thing -- cutting back on everything but writing.
Huh, if you decide against that great title, can I use it? Is oh so catchy! :D lol

Michelle said...

this sounds like the perfect plan!! miss you already though

Falen (Sarah) said...

i am totally super jealous of your super sexy WIP title.
And taking a hiatus is awesome and makes blogging so much fun when you come back.
YAY NANO!

Lisa said...

I'm right behind you.

See you on the other side!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wish I could do that for my current project, but not until after my book comes out next month.
Which reminds me - I still need the interview questions from you, Lola. You wanted me to prod you in September.

KaelaQLC said...

I also wish I could do that. I need a week (a month?) at a house in the country with no internet connection so I can read and edit my heart out. There's too many distractions in life, plus the whole pesky still having a full-time job thing...I fear that my MS will never reach it's potential! Good luck on your revisions, know that you have a support group out there.

roxy said...

The pictures are beautiful. I don't know how you find these wonderful images, but I'm glad that you do. Hope you have a constructive revising session. I'm with you in that challenging place. We can do it, Lola!

Kristi said...

I too am knee deep and ready to pull my hair out! Love the photos and good luck on those revisions! Take the time you need to keep your sanity and we'll be rooting for you!

KarenG said...

Yes! Bonsai pruning! Definitely, although I'd rather edit my ms. than create a bonsai tree, I totally see the similarities. Brilliant comparison. And yes, I'm doing NaNoWriMo, but probably unofficially.

Cinette said...

You go, girl! We all need to rejuvinate and focus from time to time.
NANO? I really should. See you there!

Cinette

Kelly Dexter said...

I completely understand why you need to step back from the blogosphere for bit, revisions are like that sometimes.

Good luck, and looking forward to posts when you return!

Sara B. Larson said...

I think it's very important to disconnect sometimes, and really delve into your mind and the core of your writing. I love the writing community but sometimes it takes up WAY too much of the time I should be spending on writing, editing, or you know, being a mom. Ha ha. ;) Enjoy and good luck!

salarsenッ said...

Totally understand. I hear you. After completing my second novel and shelving it for a while to work on a 3rd one, I've decided to challenge myself and switch that 2nd completed novel from 3rd to 1st POV.

I'm plugging on!

Travener said...

My writing is going nowhere right now. But thanks for asking.

I like the bonsai pruning = editing metaphor. Thanks for that, too.

Jen said...

My writing has been weak, and by that I mean I'm living in the muck... it's a disaster zone, yellow crime scene tape everywhere for the time being. I'm hoping to dig myself out later, but for now I've allowed myself to let it go... because...

I got a shiny new idea today! It's fresh in the mind and I think I need to write down as much as I can so that it doesn't disappear!

Have a fab weekend Lola!

Amanda Sablan said...

I think we can all understand where you're coming from. :) I myself am now only blog posting twice a week instead of every other day so I can have more time for other things, such as writing. I've been getting such good advice from my beta reader!

Donna Hosie said...

A retreat is a great thing. Enjoy it!

Old Kitty said...

Oh dear gorgeous Lola!! I hope you find your grassy peaceful retreat and continue with your sexy WiP 3bonsai-ing!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!

I wish you all the very best with this!

Take care and see you soon!

x

Susan Tiner said...

I wish you editing genius and peace and quiet in your writing place. Good luck Lola!

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

I’m jealous too. You title is so, so thought provoking.

ali said...

The Bonsai ~ what a wonderful analogy Lola! And thanks so much for visiting, I'm happy to have met you too!

Enjoy your grass-growing place. Sounds heavenly. :)

The Words Crafter said...

That's a very accurate analogy you got there. Good luck with your goals and, as we say here, I'll see ya when I see ya!

Lenny Lee! said...

hi miss lola! i was just gettin to know you and now youre going away. :( but its a real good reason for going so im just gonna say get lots and lots of writing done and me and all your friend are gonna be right here waiting for you when you get back.
...smiles from lenny

Jeff King said...

I love the idea, but application takes time to train your brain to see it this way.
I sure hope I can find the love to revising, so far it sucks, and going very badly.
I’ll try and keep the idea of a bonsai tree firmly set in my mind for the next time.
Thx

Janet Johnson said...

Enjoy your writing! I so need to work on mine, but am not nearly disciplined enough to think I'll work on it even if I go unplugged.

Jemi Fraser said...

I need to put some serious revising time in as well, but my work life is nutty now so it'll have to wait for a bit. I hope you really enjoy your time and that it's productive! Good luck :)

Melissa said...

WIP # 3 - lord, that makes my boots rock. Lola, you take all the time you need. I'll miss you of course but I totally understand the need. Good luck. We'll wait to hear your progress.

Lola Sharp said...

You, my gorgeous friends, are so deliciously thoughtful and caring and funny and gracious.

THANK YOU for being here.

Yeah. I knew a bunch of you would be so macking on my righteous title.
Holly, you funny bear, you. ;)

Jenny said...

Oooh, good luck! I hope it goes well for you and you don't go crazy (like me) without internet!!

And I will be doing NaNo- fourth year! I'm very excited already! Just have to try and get this WiP finished before November rolls round.

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theresa Milstein said...

Good luck with your sexy title "WIP" 3 as well as the manuscript itself. I hope your pictures provide ample inspiration. We'll miss you!

Not to NaNoWriMo. I have revisted my original manuscirpt, have plans for the new one, and am querying my last one. Lots of stuff going on.

Serena said...

Thank you Lola for visiting I see you see.

You blog is fab, and good look with your WIP. Ill look forward to reading in the future how you are getting on.

Hope that so far you are having a great weekend.

Greenfingers said...

Pruning anything is such a calming influence!!

Kate said...

Love the analogy. As for me - I'm knee deep in revisions too. :-)

Heather said...

I'm not sure about NaNo yet, I might join in. I've got a lot on my plate right now though. The bonsai tree made me think of how one can over edit too! I love the metaphor!

demery bader-saye said...

Hello Lola,
Best to you as you prune the lovely bonsai that is your writing - great image!
Thinking about NaNo...

demery bader-saye said...

Hello Lola,
Best to you as you prune the lovely bonsai that is your writing - great image!
Thinking about NaNo...

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Have a productuve unplug, Lola! I tried unplugging...but managed to find a wirless connection and then my addiction caused me to connect anyway. LOL...

Fran said...

Have a fruitful time. My writing has gone kerplut since I stopped being on holiday and went back to the teaching year. Bye, bye, writing. Hello, teaching-marking-teaching-marking-teaching-marking .. you get the idea.

Fran said...

Have a fruitful time. My writing has gone kerplut since I stopped being on holiday and went back to the teaching year. Bye, bye, writing. Hello, teaching-marking-teaching-marking-teaching-marking .. you get the idea.

Misha said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm coming to that stage where I will have to cut myself from anything that grabs my attention away from my works in progress (Aptly titled the Fantasy and the Western Romance).

Unfortunately, that process will have to wait until November.

May you be blessed with productivity!

Hart Johnson said...

*sending happy editing karma* (I am in editing hell, too) I hope it goes well! We'll miss you!

And YES, planning to NaNo...

DLCurran said...

May the editing faeries sprinkle revision dust and your road be smooth... or at least as smooth as revisions can be! Good vibes your way.

And I'll miss NaNo this year - big family once-in-a-lifetime (I think) trip planned. :)

Shelley Sly said...

Hey, I completely understand. Taking time off from blogging to work on writing is becoming more and more common lately. I think it's great that you're working so hard on revisions. Wishing you best of luck!

Lola Sharp said...

Thanks, friends, for understanding. And for stopping by and your well-wishing. :) *hugs*

I promise to be an good bloggy friend and visit everyone as soon as I get this MS in decent shape.

Love,
Lola

Jai Joshi said...

Have fun, Lola, in that quiet grassy place.

Jai

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi Lola! Great blog you have here--thanks for stopping by my blog. Wow, your current opus is titled WIP3? *very jealous* I'm working on #3 as well, about 4 chapters in. Right now it's titled "Twin Sacrifice" but who knows if that will stay. Take care, Jen

foldingfields said...

Lola! Get going, what are you waiting for? The place where the grickle-grass grows is calling your name (don't know why I feel so excited. must be living vicariously through you. I'm finding revisions very difficult at present). Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, sit outside and let the revision gods look kindly upon you. :)

Sara McClung ♥ said...

omg I'm RIGHT there with you!! *revision hugs*

I'm here if you need to vent, or cry over scenes that need to be rewritten. I mean, I'm not actually referring to my OWN manuscript at all ;-)

sike.


*cries*


xoxoxo

Portia said...

Yeah, I'm deep in revision hell too! I was just thinking about NaNo yesterday! Can it possibly be almost that time again? I've got an idea that's been percolating since last NaNo ...

TechnoBabe said...

I really like the picture of the typewriter out in the field. Great colors in the picture too. Go get em, keep writing, I want to buy your book some day.

gabi said...

Good luck with your writing and editing! It's tough but I think what you're doing is very brave (to step away from the internets and such--I would find it so hard). I am certain whatever work you produce will be great and well worth the time away.

Cheers!

RaShelle said...

Great going Lola!!! Good luck.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I love Nano. Will definitely try to do it this year (will be difficult with a 6-week-old but I'll try!).

Cleverly Inked said...

I hope you write till your heart is content!

Cleverly Inked said...

I hope you write till your heart is content!

Cleverly Inked said...

I hope you write till your heart is content!

Cleverly Inked said...

I hope you write till your heart is content!

Cleverly Inked said...

I hope you write till your heart is content!

Cleverly Inked said...

I hope you write till your heart is content!

Cleverly Inked said...

I hope you write till your heart is content!

paulgreci said...

Good luck with your time away. I hope it is productive!

Talli Roland said...

Of course we understand! Revising takes a lot of mental energy - I know. Good luck with it and see you on the other side!

Julie said...

Have fun in the Inner Space. Truly, there is no better place on Earth. :)

Jamie Burch said...

Good for you! We will be here when you get back. Wishing you luck and plenty of inspiration and focus.

Las Vegas Writer said...

Good luck with revisions. I know exactly how you feel. I'm glad I can follow you on your journey!

Lola Sharp said...

Thanks for all the good revision vibes, friends!

True Confessions:
I may or not be wasting too much time today at the WriteOnCon site, instead of plowing through revisions. Can you blame me?

Samantha Bennett said...

So glad your finding your grassy place! You will be missed, but I'm excited for you! Just stepped back online myself after a writing retreat of sorts. :)

Kazzy said...

I've done NANO before, but I can't swing it this year, so I think I will join you in 2011. :)

Samantha Vérant said...

I kind of wish you were a show girl. Because that would be cool. And I've never known one. Always time, right? Just make sure you leave the neck brace behind. I've heard those head pieces are awfully heavy.

***waves back***

Jude said...

"Any growth that does not belong gets eliminated. Every word must be justified; every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter edited to its most honest, authentic shape."

I love this.

Taffy said...

Love your pictures in the post. Thanks for popping over to my blog!

Medeia Sharif said...

Happy writing.

No, I won't be doing NaNo. Something else always seems to come up.

Maria Zannini said...

I'm so glad to meet you, Lola!

I've got you on my reader so I can read your posts whenever you decide to come back.

Jules said...

Well I just got here and there you go. We will meet again.

I do understand the need, enjoy the writing :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Jackee said...

LOVE that comparison of revision to a bonsai.

Enjoy your time away, Lola, I'm rooting for you and WiP3!

Cheers,
Jackee

lexcade said...

hey Lola,

thanks for following :) definitely following you back. i totally agree with the need to retreat into your writing self. sometimes, you just have to lock yourself away from the rigors of daily life to get anything accomplished. best of luck. i look forward to reading your posts!

Lola Sharp said...

Thank you, my sweet friends, for stopping by, leaving such kind comments, and understanding.

Revisions Update: Slow, but steady. Making some major overhauls. *sigh*

If you don't hear from me in another week or so, send help. ;)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Will miss you, love. But get that sucker written! And keep me posted. I'm only an email away. Don't forget meeeeeeeeeee!!!! :D

laughingwolf said...

gopher it!

i don't see me in nano this year, totally swamped in other cra... uh, stuff

Conda V. Douglas said...

Nano--yeah, I'm thinking, nano...there should be a song in that.

kimberlyloomis said...

Good for you, Lola! Hope you enjoy your unplugged time and get much accomplished.

I just got myself back to being at the computer since before my back was quite prohibiting my ability to sit for great spells of time (like, not even a half hour was possible). Progress is now going slow, but at least it's going. Each new project teaches me about new types of organization that will make things easier. Just wish they would do so somewhere before the eighty page mark. :P

Good luck!

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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