After all, I had promised it to my first round CPs at the beginning of November. Then the beginning of December. And here I was, staring at December 9th on the calendar, and wondering how it had taken me five and a half weeks to finish a simple first-pass edit.
So I typed Jean a tear-filled email (I believe Gina was the one to get it about a month ago, you ladies are troopers) about the laundry and crumbs in the carpet and trash that needed to be taken out and bathtubs that needed to be bleached. And how it wasn't possible to do all the things that needed to be done AND hug my babies AND sleep AND get any writing done.
She wrote back a long email that showed that she heard what I was saying and that she sympathized, but what she really wanted to say was right there at the end:
"What's the rush?"
So that question stayed on my mind for several days, as the dear patient lady continued to correspond with me via novel-length email after novel-length email. After all, I know very well that I don't have an editor or even an agent to put me on deadline. (Believe me. I KNOW.) And I know that, as an unagented writer, it won't make a difference whether my project takes days, weeks, months, or even years longer to complete. So why should I rush?
verb (used with object)
5. to perform, accomplish, or finish with speed, impetuosity, or violence.
Okay. Well, I obviously shouldn't do that. We all know that an impetuously sent query (or a violently sent one, yeesh) is the kiss of death for a writer. But even at this stage of the game, I don't want to waste my CPs' time by sending them a hastily, haphazardly thrown together manuscript.
So, I asked myself again, "Whats' the rush?" (Because Jean is wise, you know.)
I started to realize that it wasn't necessarily a sense of rush I felt, but a sense of drive. The feeling that I wouldn't be able to think about anything else, rest easy, or even breathe unless I made a least one little step every day on this draft.
I could convince myself that I'd be okay without writing a little bit every day, but after four or five days of ignoring ONE, I started to get mighty cranky, and resentful, and just generally down in the dumps. (Also my main character would start to scream at me, and you don't want to be near her when she's angry.)
What I learned from this was: I know there's no rush to finish any project, any time. But for me? There's definitely a rush when it comes to writing:
Yep. My name is Leigh Ann Kopans, and I am a writing addict.
2. the immediate pleasurable feeling produced by a drug (as heroin or amphetamine)
What about you? Do you feel a sense of rush when it comes to your projects? Help me feel not-so-crazy down in the comments.