Now, I know a thing or two about eating in bed (evening ice cream while reading a book is my specialty), but I usually don’t leave things to rot in the sheets. For four days.
Finding that scrap of paper made me think about all the little donuts remnants we leave in our manuscripts, and how we think that a brief hand swipe over the bed and hiding evidence of naughtiness deep in the sheets is a substitute for actually doing the laundry. It’s not in life and donut-eating, and shouldn’t be in writing.
Here are 4 methods of avoiding laziness in writing:
1. Mow the lawn before you have a party for friends—Yes, the neighbors (critique partners/beta readers) will notice the care you take or don’t take with your property. It will impact how seriously they take you and how much they think you respect their time.
2. Get your iron out—Don’t put the manuscript in the dryer a second time to get the wrinkles out. They won’t stay that way, so get out your stinking iron and spray starch to make it last.
3. Dust in hard to reach places—The tops of paintings and photos, the back of the bed post, legs of your kitchen table, etc. They (CPs/BRs/agents) might not notice how you’ve specifically taken the extra-strength cleaning spray to your adverbs and sentence length, but they’ll sense it by the lingering scent of hard work and the sparkle of your formatting.
4. Soak the dishes before you try to scrub off the gunk—I’m talking about serious pans from homemade lasagna—anything that took a heck of a long time, that you worked hard on, that looked and tasted delicious, and that left you sighing in contentment (aka, finishing a new manuscript).
It may seem like you’re being proactive by diving right into the clean-up, but in fact it’s the opposite. Patience is the tough part, but if you soak the pan first, the clean-up goes much more smoothly.
Don’t forget about Operation Awesome’s Mystery Agent Contest on Monday, August 1st. Looks like they’ll be asking for a one-sentence pitch. I’m not sure what the genres will be, so keep checking the website.
Have a wonderful weekend!