Thursday, February 18, 2016

The safety catch is OFF!

Today I sent to my poor editor version 290 of my manuscript (Bound to the Bounty Hunter – working title). This book has taken four hundred years to write (yes, I am that old) and aged me ninety years. I’ve really, really struggled with this book. I love the characters, I love the story, I adore the secondary characters, so…



As I was about to cry, hurl and call an innocent apple a bad word, I had an epiphany (it was 2 a.m. – it could have been more of a breakdown). My manuscript was as interesting as a boiled egg with no seasoning. Nutritionally sound, but kind of bland. Is there a worst word out there to describe yourself than bland? That was me, writing beige.
 

Why?


Safe.

I was writing safe. Due to my children needing straight teeth and an education, moving countries and all the usual stuff that comes with life, I haven’t written a lot and now I’m in the position where I can and it terrified me. I wrote my manuscript and sat on it (not literally, that thing would be flatter than my pavlova’s).

Even the cat is flabbergasted.

Going back through I was thinking “This is ok.” Hmmm. Ok. Oh, hell no! I don’t want to write ok. Who wants to read ok? I know I don’t. The little safety catch was on in my head and if I want this book to be the best I can make it, I had to flick the safety off and go for it, which meant putting me on the page wearing high heels, black stockings and a slinky dress with a dirty martini in my hand. The beige wearing woman pulling up her socks, straightening her cardigan, holding a cup of sugarless tea had to go. Sorry, beigey, but you’re out of here. I sat down and rewrote solidly for four days, looking like something Medusa had hacked up and not caring. One word? Liberating.

It could be that my editor will hate it, people will think I need medication (let’s not go there yet), but it’s me and if I can’t be me, then I’m screwed. So here’s to all of us flicking off our safety switches and being who we are, not what we think people want to see.


Okay, admittedly I’d love to swap places with someone for a day and that person would be my yoga instructor, Carrie who is the most positive, caring, nurturing person I know and forever corrects my downward dog with a smile.

Is there a person you’d like to be for a day?


6 comments:

  1. Awww. We've all been here. If I could be anyone for a day it would be a man. Because I want a wife.

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    1. Oh, I need a wife too, Paula, I really do...

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  2. You have to filter yourself at the PTA meeting. You have to filter yourself in the aisles at Costco, (sort of). If there's one place you should be allowed free reign to say or do what you want, fiction writing should be it! Whip the filter off and go balls out on that manuscript. I'm proud of you!!

    And I would be you for a day, for many reasons including the opportunity to bask in the joy that is sending a manuscript back to one's editor. Congrats!

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    1. Thank you Sam. For stopping by and words of encouragement. I hope Ed feels the same way... xxxxx

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  3. Hayson

    This is going to be an awesome story I you as yourself you always bring a smile to my face as will this story the last story I read of yours was fantastic good on you. And as for who I would want to be for a day not sure this is something I would have to really think about and it is way too early in the morning over here in Oz for that LOL

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Helen, I am going to officially adopt you! Thank you for your kind, lovely words that mean the world. xxxxx

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