“If you can’t get out of it, get into it.” Great quote from The Happiness Project that feels like the story of my life right now.
I recently got out of two huge time commitments: I resigned as secretary to the board of my writer’s group and I quit my twice-monthly book club. Why? Mostly because I can’t quit my job, I don’t want to quit writing, and I had to find time to really “get into” both.
Then there’s physical therapy, vegetarian cooking, yoga and my not-so-secret pleasure: reading. With my lit heavy teaching schedule (Keats this week! And Alice Munro!) I just couldnt’ fit in the book club’s reading choices. Not if I wanted to read for pleasure, books I choose just for me. Like The Happiness Project and Becoming Jane Eyre.
BJE is the best book I’ve read this year. As a writer who always wonders where other writers’ inspiration comes from, I loved Sheila Kohler’s take on the Brontes, especially Charlotte. And I wouldn’t have had time to read it if I’d tried to keep up with my book group.
I didn’t quit all my groups. I still have my romance writer’s group once a month. And my small critique group once a month. Also, I didn’t quit DWW, just resigned from the board. All so that I could clear the decks and get this final polish finished. Worked on the first chapter today. Another chapter tomorrow.
Yesterday I figured out a couple of things I need to do to get my 7000 words. (I got 1000 from the expanded love scene). First, I need to deepen and expand my main characters’ encounters. Not just the love scenes, but any scene I can exploit to show them getting closer. I also figured out (from my study of Jan Hudson’s structure) that I can add a bit more from the hero’s POV. Also add a bit more of the family thread.
Giving myself six weeks to do this final revision. Meanwhile, new book ideas are knocking on that door in my mind marked “story.”