By Katrin Schumann
I sat down to write this post and have now written four openings and ditched them all.
What do writers need to hear in times like this? How can I be helpful to others when that which binds us--our obsessive love of words, books, writing--is overshadowed so universally by our fear of the unknown?
Do I tell you how to make lemons out of lemondade?* Do I reveal that I'm writing page after page despite the uncertainty and boredom
By Katrin Schumann
How long does it really take to write a book? From beginning the first draft to seeing it on bookshelves? It's generally accepted that more books = more success/ happiness. But what does being "productive" really mean, and does it make you happy as a writer?
I used to think the solution to almost all writerly problems lay in having more time—a comforting thought since I had so very little of that particular commodity. Simple, I thought: when I have more time, I'll do more writing, and I'll be happy and productive.
On some level ...
Last year, I didn't make any New Year's resolutions. Frankly, I was tired of pushing myself so hard, and I thought: hey, how about I just try my best this year? It felt like a gentle enough goal given that I had just started a new job and my first novel was about to be published. While I knew quite a bit about what was ahead (I'd published nonfiction before), I had very little idea about whether the outcome for this book would be good, bad or indifferent, and how I would end up feeling about it all
In the past few years, I've done an enormous amount of editing. I work as a manuscript consultant and help other writers develop their books, and I've (almost completely) rewritten two novels. Here are some of the things I've learned about the editing process:
TOP FALSE ASSUMPTIONS EDITING CLIENTS MAKE
1. An editor will "fix" your manuscript. (An editor can help you fix it.)
Stick to a daily word count. Take more writing classes. Write twenty more queries. Yada Yada. What are the writing resolutions that are really important in terms of achieving success and having a reasonably satisfying work life?
Here are ten "rules" I try hard to live by when it comes to my writing. They don't all come naturally, but I strive to remember them, especially when I'm struggling.