Writing Journal, #4, The Jig is Up

I had just had a huge fight with my daughter, which ended in my physically wresting her iPad away (not easy; she is very, very strong), when I received a one line message from my editor: “You’d better get that book in if you want it on the fall list.” The jig is up.  Major panic. Heart thumping.  All my previous reflections on writing process seem like a farce at this moment. The ony reality right now: I had an October first deadline, and I can’t possibly make it. To make matters worse, my husband is going off to Paris on a research trip for five days starting thursday.  Can I write two chapters in two days?  No way. Although I know exactly what I want to say in them and all my research is done, I’ve never been that kind of writer. I have to pause and catch my breath at (ir)regular intervals.  I call my agent, and find myself in tears on the phone with him.  It’s embarrassing; at the beginning of the evening I was the mom, and now I have become the twelve-year-old who doesn’t have her assignment done. He is very understanding (he has three kids) and will call the press today and find out exactly how much lee-way I have.  But one way or another, I’m going to have to dedicate myself to this book with single-mindedness over the next few weeks.  So: I will now take out the garbage, make a second cup of half-caf, and disappear from the regular world.  I will keep you posted (in a minimalist way).  Wish me luck.  As one of our members, Cris Gomes says, “May Anne be with me”!

PS, After sending this to Natalie earlier in the day, my agent talked to the press today, and I have until the end of October if I want to get it published on schedule.  I’m pretty certain I can do this, so long as I stay focused and don’t get too unmeshed in my daughter’s adolescent angst.


Filed under Susan's Writer's Journal

8 responses to “Writing Journal, #4, The Jig is Up

  1. you can do it susan. 😀 your a amzing writer just focus on that. remeber my words. it will help 🙂

  2. I have a teenaged daughter too, so I understand the life of pain. I wish you well with your teen and your deadline!

  3. Sarah Morris

    Good luck. I know that ‘ may Anne be with you feeling’! Keep calling on her for her stregth and determination. Sarah x

  4. You can do this Susan. Whenever you feel overwhelemed or stressed stop for a minute, remember this is a dream of yours. Think of Anne’s own strength and determination and let it flow through you.

    RE your daughter: I’d love to “babysit” but that’s not cool, so we’ll say supervised hanging out! 😛

  5. Susan

    Thank you all, so much!!! Your words of support really mean a great deal to me. And Hope, I’m still waiting for the picture of your puppy!

  6. Karissa

    Good luck, I am rooting for you! I know you can do it!

  7. Don’t get caught up in the angst, it passes and later you find out none of it mattered anyway. Tell your daughter you must work and she must entertain herself. My students are all about who said what about who and then they go to middle and high school and make new friends and forget all about it, more or less. At the time, it’s the worst thing in the world, later, not so much. About the wresting of the I-Pad, it’s ok. I wish some of my student’s parents would do that with the video games, the phones, the facebook they should not be on…I remember having the phone physically pried out of my hands, I lived, it’s a reason to laugh now, she’ll be ok too.

  8. Susan

    Hi Jenny! I’ve been so busy writing I just got to your reply now. It’s comforting! But with my daughter, the problem is not her bugging me…she would just as soon I stayed at my computer 24-7 and left her in her room. But then, if I “leave her alone,” she doesn’t do her homework and tells me she did–and I only find out what’s really going on when I get emails from her teachers or look on the “infinite parent portal” (fancy name for site that my daughter regards as simply an excuse for parental spying). SHE would like me to butt out; but I’m feeling that if I don’t constantly monitor what’s going on with her, she’s going to go down a well that she won’t be able to climb out of. Maybe I should just let her fall down there, and stop trying to control things? But then, that seems like I’m not being a very responsible parent. It’s perplexing! Any advice appreciated!!

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