How is it already the end of August? I swear the summer had just started and it's already ending. I'm outside on a cafe patio during my lunch break, wearing pants. PANTS. In August. I even have a scarf wrapped around me because the breeze is too much for my tank top. Where's the beautiful warm weather? Will I have to go back to wearing shoes again soon? Why are pants the worst? These deepest of thoughts I contemplate, as I sip an iced latte and watch the comings and goings of downtown Chicago.
August has probably been the least writerly, but most social month I've had in a long time. There's been birthdays, goodbye celebrations, author events, work events, a mini high school reunion, a wedding...
|A networking/alumni event for my boyfriend's alma mater|
|All dressed up for Jasmine's wedding|
|Gorgeous location in the heart of downtown Chicago|
|Close friends since 2nd grade - Me and the beautiful bride|
|Panel of mystery/crime writers with recent releases; All members of MWA Midwest|
|Best friends from high school|
This month, I've barely managed a smattering of blog posts, which is pretty sad, considering the point of this blog is to force myself to write a little every day. Or at least, every day I'm not working on my manuscript.
My manuscript is moving along at a snail's pace. It took me this entire month to write ONE chapter, and it's a really shitty chapter too. One of the things I struggle with most, regarding my writing, is the idea of the shitty first draft. You're supposed to bang out your first draft quickly; don't spend too much time worrying about it, just get some words on the page and you can fix any problems with your later edits. The main point is that you can't edit a blank page. It's so much easier to work from something than nothing.
Logically, I know that. I've done it before and it works really, really well. But it's sooo hard for me to not re-read and fuss and edit as I go along. For some reason, the idea of a shitty draft sitting around on my computer terrifies me, which is dumb. Like, what do I think is going to happen? I'm going to die suddenly and all I leave behind are these crappy drafts? As if my loved ones are gonna stand around reading them and judging me, as my ghostly form hovers in the background moaning "Nooo...I didn't have time to edit..."
In happier news, I decided to splurge and register for BoucherCon, the world's largest mystery convention. It takes place in a different city each year, and this year it's gonna be in New Orleans. I've always wanted to go to New Orleans, so this seemed like the perfect time to go. I'm still not sure what excites me more: all the food I'm going to be eating (my friend is going to have to roll me home after I eat my weight in seafood and beignets) or all the workshops and panels that are available to me. I've already signed up for a special workshop headed up by Sisters in Crime (an organization that I belong to); the keynote speaker is Walter Moseley, and there are several other guest speakers, and they'll be dealing with the topic of "Writing Our Differences - Doing Diversity Right." Diversity in media is a really important topic to me, so I have high hopes for this workshop.
This will also be a great networking opportunity, and I’m hoping I’ll do a much better job of it than I did at the Northwestern Summer Writer’s Conference. One thing working in my favor is that I’m a member of both Sisters in Crime and the Mystery Writers of America, so I actually know a few people who’ll be there. There’s also supposed to be mixer-type events for both organizations, so that should make it a bit easier for me.
So how about the rest of you? How was your August? Do you have any weird writer hang-ups? Have any of you been to New Orleans? Any and all recommendations would be greatly appreciated!