Home > Editing, Reflections, Social media, The Monster's Daughter, Writing > Up (again) with the pen, down (again) with the pitchfork!

Up (again) with the pen, down (again) with the pitchfork!

I’ve been feeling quiet the last few days.

There’s a lot behind most silences. In this case, my silence is inspired by a gathering resolve.

Yep, you read that right: “resolve.” I know this is traditionally the time of making, revising, breaking and occasionally keeping resolutions, but I tend not to be the resolution-making sort.*

Shiny blue light, inspire me!

It’s been months since I told myself I’d begin editing The Monster’s Daughter’s sequel in earnest. And yet, so far I’ve only mustered a few hours of editing here and there. I’ve persistently traded the deep, lasting gratification of moving closer to completing a dear project for the instant gratification of an online exchange or nineteen.

Those exchanges are meaningful to me, but the gratification I get from them shouldn’t be the one driving me. It should be a small, sweet reward for a small, sweet goal met.

The last few days, my mind has been drawn more and more toward the sequel. Toward imagining what it will be like to complete and release it, freeing me to edit the final book of the Glass Ball trilogy.**

Yes, it’s going to be a hell of a lot of work. I have a lot of rewriting to do to make this story one I’m comfortable releasing; as I wrote in the entry Pens & pitchforks, I don’t want to be an author that “wields her pen like a pitchfork, just because she can”:

As I wrote it, The Monster’s Daughter was a story about one girl having the courage to make hard choices in hard times, no matter how small and insignificant she might feel. In working toward that enhancement, it’s my hope I’ll be able to create the kind of fiction that got me through my own childhood: the kind that made me go, “Wow, that’s tough, but I bet I’d survive it!” Holding that hope as I read fiction helped me weather the struggles of my own childhood. If I could make it one more day, and another day after that, I figured I’d eventually reach the point where I’d be putting out little brush fires instead of trying to slay entire freakin’ families of dragons every day.

By postponing this work, I’m also postponing the enormous reward of seeing a beloved friend’s path illuminated.

Enough. Enough dawdling. Enough leaving Ginny trapped in limbo.

The work’s not doing itself, so I guess that means I have to do it!

I mean, I’m going to do it!

No, wait. I’m doing this.


* Please don’t ask me what exactly that “sort” is!

** And then the other book I wrote. Wait, no. One time, one thing, or I’ll get all scared and overwhelmed again!

© 2012 Deborah Bryan. All rights reserved.
Duplication in whole or substantial portion is explicitly forbidden.

  1. January 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I’m thinking of Highlander!!! You’re undergoing the quickening. Go kick some butt sister!

    • January 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Tomorrow I’m getting up before the rooster crows (not that I’d hear him, with where I live!) and putting in my second morning of edits! I’m going to keep this going. I’ll need to get Word on my laptop (or arrange something else) for my trip. Actually, probably best to give myself an edit-free pass for that trip, as long as I make up for it when I get back!

  2. January 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I’m rather quiet these days, too. I’m thinking. Not sure where it’s going, if anywhere. I don’t think there’s any resolve involved. Sometimes it just feels good to say nothing for a few days.

    Love the blue photo.

    • January 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Sometimes it just feels good to say nothing for a few days.
      So true. Sometimes it really does just feel good to watch and listen, without adding any–or much–noise to the mix.

      The picture was of me standing under the Tron lights at DCA on NYE. I had Ba.D. snap a photo, which I ended up loving so, so much I had to sneak it in here somehow.

  3. January 4, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    You can DO IT! You know you won’t be sorry. Go for it!

  4. January 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    You got this…and it’s sometimes ok to spend some time “gathering” so you can charge out of the gates:)

    • January 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      I love how you expressed this! It’s true, isn’t it? Sometimes if you don’t take that time out, it’s at an ultimate cost: crawling for mile after mile when a simple break would’ve allowed you to take it all in steady, quick stride! Thanks for that, sweet lady!

  5. ehmcke
    January 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Never mind about the rest of us, YOU know you can do it. If the online exchanges spur you to your goal then that’s great! … if they start to stress you out because you recognize that you’re procrastinating … then it’s great that you recognize it and we all know you have the focus and the “resolve” to get on with the important stuff.

    As long as you leave time for your boys …. and for ducks …. then it’s all good. 🙂

    • January 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      I just wanted to let you know that I love this comment so, so very much. Thank you for the encouragement, understanding . . . and the giggles. ♥

      I won’t get around to editing today, but I’m doing double-duty tomorrow to make up for it!

  6. January 5, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Good luck, you can do it!

  7. January 5, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I am seeing you like the “Little Train that Could”. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.

    YOu will do it!


    • January 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      It’s nice to have jumped over the hurdle of “there’s no way I can” and gotten into the land of “of course I can, and will.” 😀

  8. January 5, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Awesome! Can’t wait to read the next book. 🙂

  9. January 5, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I find it much easier to visit interesting blogs than to tackle a big project. In fact, that’s what I’m doing over here right now!

  10. January 5, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I’ve found the best way to go about managing the “dammit, I need to do x,” is to get my ass out of bed and do just that.

    Good luck – we can’t wait to read it.

    And I’ll take any lack of you being here as evidence that you’re that much closer to the end of your book.

    Now, if only I can actually write mine.

  11. January 5, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Amen to what John said. Of course, you can do it. Of course, you will. Of course, you are!

    Here’s to doing it, Deb!


  12. January 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    You’ve done SO MUCH already to be proud of – don’t forget that! 🙂

  13. January 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Deborah, I am truly honored to have won the book! And I am truly inept at the simplest online tasks. I went through the instructions, but I have no idea where the book is. Now Husband, who always has to save me (he has had more saves than a televangelist), has just returned from Florida. He will have to find the book. Somewhere. But I thank you.

  14. January 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I have been enjoying some “quiet time” as well…can’t quite tell if it is a “gathering steam” or
    releasing pressure”. I am sure you will whip that book into shape. After all, you’ve got resolve on your side!

    I need to get back to the pool because that is where I do a lot of my thinking and planning…but it’s been 30 degrees each morning since I got back to Florida.

  15. January 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I’ve not written a book, but I’ve done a good bit of writing on a regular basis over the past three years, and I’ve learned the importance of rhythm. Engagement/disengagement. Thought/speech. Action/reflection. “Producing” isn’t the same as writing. Good writing requires an occasional deep sigh, just to let things settle.

    That settling probably is the quiet you’re experiencing. It will make the task easier. Lucky you!

  16. January 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Get your pen out and make some noise!

  17. January 6, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I have to agree with “shoreacres”. How wonderfully in tune you are to yourself to notice that you are rather “quiet” now. It’s natural, normal and part of the rhythm of things. No need to panic. No self doubt needs to set in. Just follow this swell and after one or several it will crest into a wave awesome in strength, or rendering a great ride.

  18. January 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I totally relate to this and struggle with the same thing. Instant gratification vs long term reward. There’s room for both. And if the long term is calling you…go. Go! Yay, you!!

  19. January 8, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Get to it! I know the story as I struggle with my own writing offline… May the Force Be with us. Now that felt good! 🙂

  20. January 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    For all of us lazies, Deborah, you go girl! Write it for all of us who want to but can’t even pen the first word. We may never do it it, but you will. Do it because you absolutely can and want to. When you have an hour, just dedicate five minutes to it. If five minutes turns into an hour – fab! If five minutes is five minutes, you’ve met your goal.

    I realize that’s advice, which is maybe not that helpful, especially given that I have no idea really what I’m talking about really not being a writer per se. Just me trying to be your cheerleader from afar!

  21. Liza Bennett
    January 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I have experienced similar things. All of the gratification from the small things is slightly diminished by that tiny nag in the far corners of your mind–that thing you really need, want to do, but just can’t get there.

    I hope you get there. Good luck.

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