Anything But Just

So… editing.

Lots of editing is what I’m doing and typing and writing and highlighting and some of this

jessica-headdesk

Because I.am.so.close.

But every time I think I’m done, I re-read stuff and think, “I can do better”. Then I keep going. Which is

a) really great and b) really dangerous

because

a) this draft is going to rock and b) this draft could maybe kill me.

This is the stage where, as a writer, you have to remember why you started in the first place.

I need to remember that feeling I had as a kid at the movie theater during the an awesome trailer when I’d get goosebumps and thank God there were people in the world that wanted to tell stories that made me care so much.

Or when I’d stay up into the early morning reading Harry Potter under my sheets. Or freshman year, when I finished a trilogy that shall not be named and literally sobbed for five hours (I’m looking at YOU, LIBBA BRAY), causing my suitemates great concern because it’s just a book, Katie. 

Here, at the point of mild story fatigue and premature carpal tunnel, I need to remember that there is no such phrase as “it’s just a book”.

I’m guilty of just-ing, myself. Just this week at school, some woman asked what I wanted to do with my degree. With a shrug, I answered, “I’m just a writer.”

She smiled and shook her head. “Don’t say just a writer.”

So true. Books aren’t just books. They aren’t just stories. I’m not just a writer.

Books can change things. Stories can alter your life. Books can make people remember why they’re alive. They can make you want to be brave when you don’t want to be.

When I was lying on the hospital bed during labor and the nurses were sticking me with a needle for an hour because they couldn’t find a vein, I stared at the ceiling, prayed, and thought of how my favorite heroines would act. I took the pain as a challenge, because I wanted to show that I could learn something from them. So, the whole time, I thought of Kara Thrace. (I know Battlestar Galactica isn’t a book. But it’s an awesome story, so it fits). I clenched my teeth and didn’t make a sound.

(Labor was a different story.

I acted a like Johnanna Mason during labor. ↓↓↓

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Anyway.)

When I’m in the middle of a workout and want to give up, I think of Katniss.

When I’m getting the crap kicked out of me at grappling practice, I think of Tris.

There’s no such thing as just a story. And I’m not just a writer.

So when I get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning and stumble down the stairs (hopefully in a a charming way, not in a “Katie actually fell down the stairs, call an ambulance” kind of way) to inject coffee into myself, I will remember that.

This story is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

There’s a pretty messed up and kickass heroine. And a sassy best friend. And a hot boy. There’s good, evil, and lots of blood and magic.

I’ve mapped out a calendar. If I stick to it, these edits will be done by October 1st. Then it’s on to the new idea…which is really, really exciting.

But I’m a day or two behind. Planning on catching up tomorrow… I’ll let you know how it goes.

This writer life is anything but just.

I’ll remember that as I ice my hand and try and decipher these *#$&ing story notes.

Anyway. Week one.

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