Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Adorable indifference

From today's National Post: "Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle’s debut novel is to be published for the first time in September, nearly 130 years after it was written."

The way my book is going right now, 130 years sounds about right... if it ever gets finished (let alone published) at all. Why you ask? Because I'm just not that into it any more.

Why you ask? (Jesus, you're nosy.) Because I've developed a serious case of indifference made worse by my new TV pilot idea and a deflated interest in literature for which I blame on summertime, various magazine subscriptions and a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Anyhoo, if my passion for my book ever does return, here's the timeline I'm looking at:

August 1, 2011: Emily opens manuscript to tackle latest round of revisions.
August 2, 2011: Emily gives up because writing is hard.
August 3, 2011: New crop of track marks appear on Emily's left arm.
August 4, 2011: Emily disappears without a trace. (Her Kelly Clarkson collection also goes missing.)
July 7, 2012: Emily returns to Toronto, 15 pounds heavier, with blue hair and an Angolan accent.
July 10, 2012: Emboldened after watching old Susan Powter laser discs, Emily shaves blue head and throws herself into revisions once more.
November 3, 2012: Emily finishes revisions. Eats soy ice cream (strawberry) + cone (gluten-free) in celebration.
November 6, 2012: Emily lands new dream job, rocks a size two, feels fabulous and finds perfect happiness. (Thank you, Susan!)
January 5, 2013: Emily re-reads latest revision.
January 6, 2013: Emily admitted into psych ward at Toronto General.
June 8, 2141: Emily's novel gets published (posthumously) by Mars-Made-Editions, a new imprint of intergalactic publisher, Books by Dead Earthlings.

What about you, dear reader? Have you ever lost interest in your own writing project? How did you handle it?


  1. Hi
    After reading your latest post, I decided to come out of the 'no comment closet' (not that there's anything wrong with that). I have, in fact, been in much the same situation -- not exactly losing interest in my writing project, but coming to the awful conclusion that maybe it was a losing battle.

    In my case, I had worked on a novel for a couple of years, re-wrote, edited, did the Humber College mentor program, tried to meet literary agents at a NY conference etc etc. At one point, a volunteer reader (whom I found in Toronto via a friend of a friend)went through the manuscript, made some sage comments and then said,"Have you thought of writing something else?" I was shocked and devastated. Finishing the first one felt like climbing a mountain. I couldn't even conceive of starting another. But eventually I did and I'm glad for a few reasons:
    1. It took my mind off the interminable business of trying to get published
    2. It actually forced me to get back to writing and I think I got better.
    3. I proved to myself that I could actually write another novel (there was no-one more shocked than me).

    I'm not advocating this, nor does my story have a happy ending (in terms of getting an agent or publisher) but I'm glad I did it. By the way, I'm almost 100% sure that you will be successful as a writer either through 'writers on the verge' or your book (which is NOT called The Persimmon Gatherers)or I dunno something else. I say this because you can obviously write (your blog is coherent, funny, thoughtful & regular) and you actually finished a novel. You (and Evadne Macedo for that matter) are already ahead of the game.

    Sorry for droning on & all the best,

    Andrew (from Montreal)

  2. Dear Andrew:

    Are you my long lost brother? Because I can't believe that someone who is not related to me would leave such a groovy, thoughtful comment. It really makes me feel good to know that there are like-minded writers out here making a go of it. So thanks for reading my blog, coming out of the comment closet, and taking the time to contribute like this. I hope your next book kicks @$$ and takes names someday.

    Peace, etc.

    Emily (AKA, Id)

  3. Ah well, 130 years isn't so long in the scheme of things (history of the world etc). This gives me hope. Thanks, Emily.

    And you, Andrew, I enjoyed hearing your story. Good for you to start another project. It's hard to do, but helps keep novel-related pains in perspective. Funny that multiple sources of literary and artistic angst end up being soothing when combined.

  4. Hi Evadne: So true about the soothing effect of pain multiplied. Argh! Why couldn't I have been good at math? This whole writing thing never would have happened! I hope your writing continues to go well, Evadne. I always enjoy your blog.

  5. I'm wallowing away in a murder mystery manuscript, mostly because I haven't a freaking clue how the detectives figure out who did it. It's exhausting to face my pile of nearly 200 pages every day and try to order it properly. Ugh. It's so much more fun to zip through a TV, sexy TV scripts.

    I'm submitting to the Writers on the you know if you have to put a title page on the script? I've been trying to find out that detail on their site, and I've even emailed to ask them (no reply).

  6. Speaking of mysteries, hi Anonymous! Thanks for sharing your story. Writing a book is a totally exhausting process -- I feel your pain. I'm thinking of mixing Red Bull with ginseng myself. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Re: Writers on the Verge... as far as I know, it's not wrong to include a title page with your spec script. I included one last year, and while they told me to correct another mistake I made in my application, they didn't mention the cover page. No reply, huh? I can relate to that, too. I emailed NBC two weeks ago for a confirmation that they received my attachments and I've yet to hear back. Fingers crossed for the both of us. (But more crossed for me because I'm real like that.)

  7. It's so nice to hear from exhausted writers because there are so many writers out there now who seem to be writing and self-publishing their books in weeks or months. It took me ten years to finally have a book I felt comfortable putting out there. I probably would have waited 130 if it weren't for Seth Godin and Gene Hayden (The Follow Through Factor). I highly recommend her book. Giving yourself deadlines is also really important. Keep at it! Did you disappear from twitter, BTW?

  8. Hi Tara: You just made me feel a lot better. Ten years sounds about right for me as well and suddenly, it doesn't seem so bad. I mean, your book -- The Proper Order of Things -- is excellent, and I want to produce something excellent, too.

    As for inspirational books, I just bought "Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence." I will pick up the book you just mentioned, too. I'm in need of some serious saving!

    Re: Twitter, I had to dump my old account because of way too many spam followers. I just signed up again: @EmilySaso1. (I'm following you again now!)

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm a big fan. :)


  9. Glad to hear you bought Roz's book. I bought it too, though I wish I had had it when I was working on #1. I know it will be useful for my #2. She has a fantastic blog for anyone who doesn't know it:

    PS-I included one your blog posts in my "Scoop It" about my book. Have you seen this cool site? You can make a Scoop It about any topic: