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Dear Readers – An Apology

November 22, 2004

I realize that I have not been posting frequently of late, and that, when I have, those posts have been short and mostly pointless.  Not that my longer posts are full of relevance, but I digress.

Anyway, I apologize.  I wish I could blame my lackluster posting on how hectic work is this time of year (it is), or the fact that all the rain Austin’s been getting has been making the ownership of three dogs quite a chore (it has), or that Jamie has abducted my computer to feed her Free Cell addiction (she has).  The true, root cause is really much more lame.

Chapter XII has sucked me of my strength.

Seriously, I have been writing this chapter since August.  The end is in sight, now, but there’s still a way to go.  And it’s taking so long that, as I write it, I think of ways to improve it, which in turn makes it take only longer. 

Allow me to explain.

For the past week and a half, maybe more, I have been laboring to write the scene in which Lucius Aemilius Paullus, consul and father-in-law of our hero, dies.  I’ve started the section over from scratch three times.   Even tonight, working my through the third iteration, I decided to change the manner of his death slightly, but in such a way that pretty much made my two and a half hours of effort pointless.

And worse – I’m now beginning to wonder if the story wouldn’t be better served by telling of his death second-hand.  So, I may be putting all this effort into a section that will only get axed in the editing process.

The entire chapter has become a crushing weight on every aspect of my life.   It’s made me grumpy.  It’s driven me to neglect friends and family.  It’s kept me awake at night and distracted my thoughts at work. 

Yet I keep slogging away at it because, about a year ago now, I made a promise to myself that I would write a novel.  And because, in my heart, I love writing, and know that the process will get easier once I move past the Battle of Cannae and into its aftermath.

Until I do, though, I fear my blog posts will continue to be infrequent and lame. 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2004 11:15 am

    Keep with it, Matt. What you are experiencing is universal for writers. That doesn’t make it any easier…but you’ll get through it.

    You’re doing such a good job. It’ll fall into place if you keep at it.

  2. November 23, 2004 5:26 pm

    I echo Lori’s sentiments, and hasten to add that perhaps moving on to another chapter is a smart move. It’s not giving up. I know TON of professional writers that don’t write thier book in strict chronological order. Plus, the say one should put a piece of work away for a few days before going back and editing it so it looks fresh.

    Remember when we were in high school and we had that conversation around my parents pool about writing and being an author? That was seven years ago now, and yet here you are, on the brink of what was then only a passing dream. YOU ARE A WRITING VIKING!!!

  3. November 23, 2004 9:49 pm

    Thanks to both of you for your comments and support. For the record, I don’t plan on “editing” editing until the manuscript is finished and I’ve taken a good month off doing absolutely nothing writing-related. Doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t race ahead, though…

    I’ll get through it, one of these days, and then your support will REALLY be tested, when I ask you to read it…

    [insert evil laugh]

  4. Mark permalink
    November 24, 2004 3:08 pm

    Ok confession . I NEVER LEARNED TO READ!!!!!

  5. November 24, 2004 6:27 pm

    I don’t know how you do it Matt. Don’t give up!! Shoot, most us can’t even write a paragraph without…….driftt……ing………….

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