I’m Back, Baby! (or, I’m Back. Baby!)

My baby is turning two in June. We had a challenging 18 months after her birth. Challenging is an understatement, a story for another time. It was dire, and I won’t lie, there are still days when everything catches up with me and I feel like I have to slither into the basement at 9am and sleep until my brain recharges. But overall, things are better, now. I love my kiddo, and being a mom. I love my husband. I like that we’re a Super Threesome Family.

My writing has changed.

I have 40,000 words of a new manuscript. It’s an experimental story, genre and form-bending work. So it’s harder working in new ideas, and requires fewer words. It requires me to think more like a poet and less like a blogger, which is when I end up spewing everything onto the page.

So, I believe this is a lucky advance for the reader. Better writing!

This story is an idea I’ve had since I was a sophomore in high school. It took years, decades, to figure it out. Feminism, sexism, sex. Literature, the origin of words, how we live now. Historical, modern. Contradictions and pulling threads of history forward.

This is the most excited I’ve been about a manuscript, and that includes Pitchwars.

I worked with Fiona McCrae yesterday, editor of Graywolf Press. She talked about editors and writers seeing the same vision, that you need to find someone who “gets you” so that you get the best editing experience. It made me think about my own editing–for others, for myself. If I don’t believe in someone else’s project “vision,” am I still helping them? I think, yes. Because it’s helpful to have feedback and support when you’re first writing. And I support someone’s drive to write, even when I don’t completely understand the story yet (and to be fair, sometimes the WRITER doesn’t even understand the story yet–so we do iterative work together, working toward a vision of success, as defined by the writer).

If I believe in my OWN project vision, yet run across a section that doesn’t work with my narrative, am I still helping myself?

No, of course not. The editor in me is starting to separate from the writer, which is how I know I’m making progress. I’m beginning to see sections that require more, less…it means that I’m honing in on something, because my internal editor is requiring the writer in me to do more, be better.

Two years after having a baby, it’s a pretty good place to be. Let’s see what happens next.