Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday: Writing Distractions

You’re probably tired of hearing that I’m working on a book proposal – frankly, I’m sick of saying it! But I’m definitely making headway, and I’m so bloody excited about this project that the proposal process – though a lot of work – has actually been rather fun.

Nevertheless, it’s an all-consuming prospect right now. You see, I’m competing against another author, which has, for me at least, never been the case before, so I’m really nervous about the outcome – which might explain why I’m taking longer to finish it than I’d originally planned. My acquisitions contact gave me until this Monday (October 12th), so I’m not late or anything (nor will I be), but I’d hoped to have it to her sometime this week. I have mixed feelings, though, about sending it to her now: On the one hand, knowing that I’m in competition for this project makes me want to send the proposal to her sooner rather than later, but on the other hand, I'd like to take my time to make it the best proposal it can be.

So, needless to say, it’s been a nerve-wracking few days. It doesn’t help, of course, that while I’m working on the proposal, I need to make last-minute preparations to leave northern Michigan and help Dan with our upcoming film festival. Still, despite the stress, I thrive on being busy and juggling multiple projects – it certainly keeps life interesting.

No matter how much I’ve enjoyed crafting this proposal, however, I find that distractions are sometimes necessary. At times like these, I long for a lovely beach on which to take a lengthy, relaxing stroll, but, alas, there are no such beaches nearby.

If it were earlier in the summer, I could reenergize my brain with a visit to a local farmers market. But, alas, the sweet peaches are long gone.



And if I were already in New Orleans, I’d be hopping over to Café Maspero for a muffuletta break. But, alas, we’re not in the Big Easy yet.



In lieu of such distractions, then, I often find that writing something else (namely, fiction) helps me to recharge my brain cells and refocus on the writing project at hand. That’s why I’m so grateful to be a part of the Come In Character site – a great place to blow off some steam and have a little fun via one’s characters. If you’re in need of such a distraction, pop on over – today, we’re emoting wonder, which is a good place to be as I complete this proposal. After all, that’s the feeling that I want readers to get from perusing the potential travel guide that might result from said proposal.

At crazy times like this, it helps, too, to write something completely different – something unrelated to any current project (fiction or otherwise). That’s why I’m so thankful for Jennifer J. Bennett. A few weeks ago, she ran a contest to write a monologue of a household object, and I actually took the time to do it – an excellent exercise in seeing life from an unusual perspective and a terrific way to distract myself for a little while. If you have a chance, please visit Jen’s site today – and vote on your favorite object monologue. No matter the voting outcome, though, I’ll forever appreciate the distraction.

I have no doubt that I’m not alone in needing distractions from time to time. What do you do when you need a break from the project at hand? And, please, try to keep it family-friendly.

14 comments:

L. T. Host said...

Good luck on the proposal! My fingers are crossed for you :)

Becky said...

Hey, you can always give me a call if you need a distraction up here. We can do lunch! The weather here has been pretty lousy though. Almost too lousy for a walk, but Biko doesn't mind. I'd rather have snow than this! The colors sure are pretty though! BTW, have you ever been to the Amish shops around Mio? Those would make a neat distraction (or future blog subject)...

As for me, my computer provides WAY too much distraction for me!

Bane of Anubis said...

basketball, or exercise, in general. Synapses pretty much shut down. Good luck w/ the proposal... try not to over think it too much.

Lazy Writer said...

I listen to music and let my mind wander wherever it wants to go. Good luck finishing your proposal, and I'd take my time if I were you. No need to rush.

Laura Martone said...

Thanks, L.T.!

Great idea, Becky! I can always eat lunch. As for the weather, yep, pretty gloomy lately. I just got back from an energizing walk in the woods - and I must admit, it would be nice if I could feel my fingers. Must remember gloves next time. Speaking of snow... it's supposed to snow on Monday. Yikes! I'm so not ready for that. :-(

Bane - Yes, exercise is a wonderful way to distract the brain. Just returned from a brisk walk (with my weights, of course), and all I could think about was how cold it was. Proposal? What proposal? Thanks for the luck, BTW! Good advice not to overthink - nasty habit o' mine.

Susan - Ooh, music. I was just about to pop in my Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack - that always fires me up! And you're right - nothing wrong with taking a little time to make it right. Good advice that applies to our novels, too.

Strange Fiction said...

I'm pulling for you Laura! Good luck and keep us posted. Try to relax!

J.J. Bennett said...

Laura for me keeping my mind working in different ways helps me work better too. I find I focus so much better when I can "mix it up". It's almost the end of the contest! Good luck and thanks for entering.

Martha W said...

Hey Laura! Forget the peaches - it's cider mill time. Apples (caramel covered of course) and fresh made donuts, Picking out pumpkins and fresh hot cider... nothing like it in this weather!

Laura Martone said...

Thanks, Deb! I'll try to relax! Though it doesn't come easy for me. :-(

J.J., I know what you mean. Even doing chores allows me to mix things up a bit. P.S. Thanks for holding the contest - it was fun!

Martha - Mmm. Apple cider, pumpkins... oh, how I love fall. P.S. Never tried a caramel apple. Are they that good?

MattDel said...

Caramel apples are the sweet deliciousness that fall is made of! But you have to buy them from an orchard/farm stand/cider mill and NOT under any circumstances from the grocery store (a fairground is OK so long as they come from a local grower). That's the only way (in this Upstate NY-native's opinion) you can get the true splendor of the caramel apple.

Natalie said...

I read a book. Reading always refreshes me. Good luck on the proposal!

Becky said...

You should go apple picking at King Orchards, near Central Lake, MI. An excellent distraction! Stop at Shorts Brewery in Bellaire for a micro brew! Yum!!! Have you been up here when it's snowing? Yipee!!!!! Just hope it stops when we're loading up the moving van!

Laura Martone said...

Matt - Good advice. Although I've never been tempted to buy a caramel apple in a grocery store, I'd definitely consider doing so at an orchard. Must give it a go before I leave Michigan!

Natalie - Yep, reading is a good way to distract oneself. I'm reading THE LOST SYMBOL right now for just that reason.

Becky - Mmm. Good ideas, Becky. Yep, can't wait for the snow. This Monday, right?

Stephanie Faris said...

On MySpace there was a girl who claimed to be pretending to be the person she was portraying on MySpace as research for a book. I thought at the time, "What a great idea. I should set up a fake networking site for my character." But who has the time! This site you're talking about seems similar to that.