Friday, October 20, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things: Just Do It!

I'm in the habit of going to the gym three or four days each week. It's usually the same days of the week, but I'm flexible. If I have something else to do, I'll skip gym and go the next day.

This week on three occasions, including today, I didn't have anything else to do, but I didn't really want to go and workout. On pone of those occasions, I didn't go. The other two, including today, I forced myself.

Today I forced myself to go and I forced myself to stay. The mini circuit I planned to do had to be dumped because someone else was using the space which caused me to think about going home. I started on some other equipment, and felt weak and unenthusiastic which caused me to think about going home. Another guy working in the same general area as me was making strange sounds, and his body odour was particularly strong, which caused me to think about going home.

With my Adidas shoes, New Balance tank, Nike headband and heavy metal (I can only workout to rock and heavy metal) in my ears via my iPod shuffle, I sweated and groaned as I pushed myself through the pain and apathy. (and the aversion to maladorous men)

I stayed and completed the forty five to fifty minute workout I usually do. I'm glad. I'm celebrating my discipline and hoping that it isn't always going to feel like a chore.

What did you achieve this week when you didn't feel like it, or didn't think you could?

*Useless fact: The word gymnasium comes from the Greek word gymnasion which literally means school for exercising naked.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Celebrate the small things: it is finished?

The final edit of a novel is quite painful mainly because you're working on a manuscript which you thought was already finished when you sent it to your editor. You know it's not finished because your eagle-eyed editor will find errors and inconsistencies, but you think it's finished. You've been through 3 or 4 drafts, incorporated or rejected (ie wrestled with) the feedback from your beta readers. You're pretty happy with it, even knowing that for sure it isn't perfect and it is highly likely that you missed some things.

Then the editor and you have some differences of opinion about grammar usage and the effectiveness of some of your metaphors. They might be the first objective reader to say "that doesn't make sense" or "I don't understand that". They might object to the use of certain words and certain non standard syntax and you might feel you're dealing with someone who doesn't understand your work. Perhaps one who doesn't appreciate it.

Armed with an editor's cut, you first of all go through their proposed changes and necessary corrections. Next you read the whole manuscript out loud in as few sittings as possible. (I found this stage really hard, but it is an absolutely vital step.) You try not to feel dismayed as you uncover more errors, like missing words for example, than the editor did. You feel the flow of the narrative, and wince when said flow is interrupted by a clunky construction or an overly verbose metaphor.

Finally, it is finished...ah no. The final proof will be in your inbox before too long and then you'll have to read it again unless you trust the editor and publisher completely. Are you brave enough to do that when previous books went to press with errors, and not just a few of them?

That's where I'm at with Love Sick Love, my fifth novel which is scheduled for release in November from Rogue Phoenix Press It's a great read by the way, so I'll hope you'll buy it, read it and recommend it to everyone you know.

What projects have you thought were finished only to discover they were not? How did you respond?