Get Off Your Butt and WRITE!!!!

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen each other. I’ve been a bit busy with the winding down the school year, my son’s high school  graduation, school events, etc. School is now out for me, so the spinning of my head has slown down a bit.  Here’s what’s on my mind right now, so let’s get to it. Shall we?

I was reading my new Twitter/Facebook friend Gae Polisner’s blog today when a realization whompped me upside the head: I dream of the day when I get invited to be a part of a book festival! Oh, wait! That will require me to finish my book and find an agent and get published and… *cue the Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the football away voice saying, ARRRGGGG!!!!*

Sheesh! That’s not a tall order or anything. It just means I’ll have to get off my butt (actually it means I’ll have to get off the Interwebs and TV) and focus, focus, FOCUS on FINISHING my book!

Here’s the deal: I started off really strong last summer and pounded out a good 12,000 or so words over the course of 2-3 weeks. That might sound impressive, and I guess it kinda is, but since then, I’ve only added another 3,000-4,000 words or so. You do the math. No matter how you add those words together, they don’t add up to a finished draft, much less a finished novel.

In my defense, I do have four kids, all of whom have been in school, I’m a teacher, wife, mother to two dogs, and a student. I am a very busy person. But still… I lament a great deal about not having enough hours in the day to do all the things I need to get done, when the truth is you make time for what’s important to you. I manage to find time to plan and grade my students’ work,  read all the amazing YA books I love (although that is truly a part of what writers do), and I ALWAYS find time to watch NCIS.  ALWAYS.  So…why can’t I find time to write? Why can’t I find time to finish this manuscript (wow! I’ve never referred to my novel as a manuscript before), which is very important to me?

Why indeed? What IS stopping me? I’m pretty sure it isn’t one single thing. No, I’m pretty sure it’s more like seventy-two  things. Mostly, though, I think it’s fear. Fear of success and fear of failure. Fear that I won’t be able to piece it all together because I’ll run out of words or I won’t be able to connect with the right agent/publisher/audience. I mean, who’s going to want to take  a risk on this Kansas girl no one has heard of?

Then I wonder if my YA writing idol Laurie Halse Anderson ever had similar worries. Or Neal Shusterman? Jay Asher? Gae Polisner? Suzanne Collins? You know her. She wrote those Hunger Games books. You know, the WILDLY successful Hunger Games books!! So. I guess it’s really possible that someone out there will someday be willing to take a chance on me and my manuscript. Once it’s finished, that is…

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gae Polisner
    May 30, 2012 @ 15:58:23

    Okay, so first of all, YES!! We have all felt this way. Hell, most of us STILL feel this way. I like to view that fear as my edge – to always strive to do better, to write better. To tell a better story. I may succeed or I may fail, but at least I wont be just thinking, oh heck, it’s easy. I can. It aint easy. 🙂 And YOU CAN!!! I hope this summer, hanging with Kate and Jen and me on our blogs will help push you forward. It’s a heartbreaking business at times, and there’s plenty of rejection and fear. But, man, when you hit it, it’s amazing. I can’t wait for those I love, admire, respect, to be next. Go, Micki, go! 🙂

    Reply

  2. mfryhover
    May 30, 2012 @ 16:59:05

    Thanks so much, Gae! I can’t tell you how happy I am to have connected with you. I am so looking forward to our #TeachersWrite summer camp, and I think you are just the right combination of cheerleader and kick in the pants that I need to get off my butt and FINISH my book!

    Reply

  3. Gae Polisner
    May 30, 2012 @ 20:14:30

    *shakes pompoms… eyes steel-tipped boots.* 😉

    Reply

  4. Kelly Vorhis
    May 31, 2012 @ 10:29:26

    Wow, Micki, as I was reading your post I felt like you were reading my mind. I call myself a writer, but I have yet to finish a first draft. I think I’m scared,too, and becoming a published author is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I think we need to continue our #Stronger vibe of encouragement, don’t you?? Thanks for putting in writing your thoughts. Now, where did that WIP and my #surrender playlist go… (goes off singing “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…)

    Reply

    • mfryhover
      May 31, 2012 @ 10:42:01

      Yes! We should definitely continue with #Stronger! I see a trend here, friend. Plus, we have #TeachersWrite this summer for added support and inspiration. We can do this!

      Reply

  5. Nancy
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 16:53:37

    I’m willing to take a chance on this writer! I’ve read parts of the first draft and know it’s more a sure thing than a chance. And yes, Micki, I can definitely relate! I’m (partially) retired and have written very little in the past few months! You go girl! I’m waiting for the next chapter!

    Reply

  6. Elisa Waingort
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 07:02:37

    I know what you mean! Even though my goal as a writer isn’t to write novels or children’s books for publishing, at least not yet, my intent is to write every day, about something important that I will publish somewhere. Sound vague? Maybe but it’s about book and article reviews, blogging, my doctoral proposal, journal articles, book chapters, weekly parent letters, etc., etc., etc. So, I agree with; it’s fear that keeps me back and holds me down. So, I procrastinate. And then, before I know it, all of the writing I need to do plus all of the writing I want to do get piled up in a jumble; time becomes a highly sought after commodity. How to break the barrier?

    Reply

    • mfryhover
      Jun 02, 2012 @ 08:44:30

      Even though I know it isn’t possible for me to be the ONLY one who feels this way, it is quite comforting to know I’m NOT the only one who feels this way! While I don’t have any anwsers, and certainly not THE answer, I do know that balance is difficult. And elusive…but…we keep moving forward a little a time.

      Reply

      • Elisa Waingort
        Jun 02, 2012 @ 20:07:37

        After I posted my comment here I wrote about this for my daily fix on 750words.com. What I finally decided is that in order to develop a daily writing habit the only thing that I can do is to just do it! I will set aside 30 minutes every day at first and then try to increase it, if possible. I know it sounds too simple but I think that’s what will work. So, I’m on a new mission starting today.

  7. mfryhover
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 20:18:22

    Good for you, Elisa! You get a lot of words down in 30 minutes! 🙂

    Reply

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