Karen Rivers

wait, book, wait.

Karen Rivers

I am writing and I'm not supposed to be.   I am meant to be rewriting something else, something I am super-excited about, but something that is also a lot of work.  Editing is the work of writing.  It can be really challenging.   I love doing it.   I do.  But it's HARD.

BUT it represents "success".   It represents "validation"*.  

AND it's one step closer to your project becoming real, like the velveteen rabbit!   Or Pinocchio! 

But right now, this new book is jumping up and down and pulling on my sweater sleeve.   It's taking over my wee little brain like the lyrics to Small World or Drugs In My Pocket.  It's trying to make me obsess

I will not let it.   

I have colourful index cards.   I have highlighters.   I have a long ream of paper that I'm making a timeline on.   I am editing.  

Damn it.

Wait, book, wait.


Is that obnoxious?   Sometimes I read certain writer's blogs and I think, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW OBNOXIOUS YOU SOUND?"    

Maybe I don't know how I sound either.    Tell me if I am awful.**   Tell me if reading my blog makes you want to stab yourself in the eye with a fountain pen or even just a pencil stub.   Don't worry, the new book will hit a wall soon.   They almost always do.   Then it becomes work

(And just because I love it to bits doesn't mean my agent will.   It doesn't mean publishers will.   It doesn't mean YOU will.)

For quite a while, two years actually, while I agent-shopped, I didn't HAVE any pending deals.  I didn't have any edits waiting on me.   I didn't have any real deadlines.   No one cared if I wrote or not.   I try to remember that often.  

Writing is not always (ever?) easy.   It's not always fun.   And sometimes it's really hard to read about other people's successes and even harder to read whiny tweets from writers who hate certain parts of the process, because they have what so many people WANT -- a publishing deal.  (See also:  VALIDATION)

I promise -- I swear on a stack of unread library books -- I will not whine about these edits.    

(me, swearing)


Sometimes writers forget that it's not always easy being a writer.   I don't want to forget.  It's the hardest job in the world but also the best.   The very, very best.   Edits and all.


*I live for validation.   Think will get t-shirt that says, VALIDATION, FTW.  Of course, that would be a t-shirt that would require a lot of explaining.   So scrap that idea***. 

** But say it really subtly so that you don't hurt my delicate-flower-type feelings, mkay?

*** Unless the t-shirt also had a paragraph explaining the slogan.   But that would also suck because how long exactly do you want people staring at your t-shirt for, ostensibly just "reading" it and not actually, you know, just staring at your shirt?   Exactly.   Creeps.   Let's just agree that Validation Is Awesome and leave it at that.