Yves Brown McClain: Literary Fierceness

Lazy Days…

Posted by Dahlia on March 14, 2011

Go hard or go home.

Come correct or don’t come at all.

I have to admit that I haven’t fully lived by those mottos/clichés/ sayings when it comes to my writing. Basically, I have been a lazy writer. My WIP has been “completed” twice, just to return to WIP. Why? Because I got impatient lazy. Impatience laziness caused me to rush to completion. Why? Because I felt the pressure to just be done with the darn thing already. “It’s been so long… just finish!” So I would finish, but would ultimately discover something wrong with it, and back to WIP the story would go.

The first version I finished was in 2007. I queried this version. It got rejected, which is to be expected initially. After some time, it got put on the backburner. Last year, I blew off the e-dust and decided to rework it. Decided that I would go rogue independent with its publication. Added content and took away content until I got to a version that I was happier with. I then said, “This is the version I will publish. No more changes. This is it. I love it.” I went on to have the MS edited and had my cover done.

I threw myself into the business side of the house. While researching, print dates vs. publication dates, blog tours, book reviews, and websites, I discovered crucial information about my content. The MS was still flawed. Because it wasn’t my best effort. Yes, I had made some newbie mistakes, such as relying too heavily on that prologue to info-dump and springboard the novel into action. Or I told when I should’ve shown. Or I explained away plot holes in a few paragraphs instead of properly filling that hole with plot, action, and dialogue. But mostly, I had repeated the mistake of the first completed version: Impatience laziness. This is unacceptable.

It’s unacceptable because at the end of the day, the work I put out will be mine. It’ll have my name on it (my real one, and not a pen name). I cannot, knowing what I know, be hasty to publish just to get it done and say I published a book. Besides, there are way too many authors out there like that already. I love what I do too much and it would be a disservice not only to me, but to any potential reader out there. I have been in positions when I knew it wasn’t my best and it never feels good to know I didn’t do everything I absolutely could.

So, I will stop being impatient AND lazy. I understand that it will never be perfect, but it needs to be my best effort. Regardless of phenomenal success or utter failure, when I do (finally) publish, I will know that I put my best foot forward and presented no less than my best work.


10 Responses to “Lazy Days…”

  1. Yves, that is great you recognize that though! You’re right – most rush it, just wanting to publish something, not realizing that first effort will mark their reputation forever. Polish it to perfection. And just think how much knowledge you’ll gain before it IS published!

  2. BRAVO!! Very well said.

  3. Good for you. I look at it as quality and not quantity. I have a book I started in 07 and right now it is 350 pages but I’m still not done because it is not up to the best as it can be.

  4. you’re doing alright – best of luck with WIP

  5. Joy said

    Here! Here! I’m thinking about self-pubbing one of my novels if I don’t sell it by the end of the year. ‘Course, I have to try and query first. However, I know that I’ll have to fine tooth comb it in terms of editing before I put it into someone else’s hand. I say keep at it until you’re satisfied it is your best work.

  6. Once a book is printed, there’ll be evidence. 🙂

    So I agree, do your best and revise as many times as necessary until you’re happy. Good luck with your WIP. I have one going through the same cycle.

  7. Pam Parker said

    It’s all about perseverance. Don’t give up. My manuscript that just went to an agent was probably the 7th draft….and, I know that even if a miracle occurs and she takes me on as a client, I’m likely to be revising again based on her comments b4 she’ll go to a publisher. That’s how it works. Revising, revising, up until print time. 🙂

  8. very well said!!!

    I think that writing a first draft isn’t that hard, a lot of people do it during nanowrimo.

    The hard part is revision, and keeping at it until the work stands out.

  9. […] more because I felt parts of the story were too rushed. I’ve also documented a few times about rushing and getting complacent (read: lazy). I feel I didn’t let parts of the story naturally develop […]

  10. […] more because I felt parts of the story were too rushed. I’ve also documented a few times about rushing and getting complacent (read: lazy). I feel I didn’t let parts of the story naturally develop […]

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