Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Where there's a will...

If I had the willpower of a gnat, I’d have lost the five pounds—make that 8 pounds—that I want to get rid of before the Christmas food-and-drink-fest kicks in. (No, no, this isn’t a diet whine—I just want to free up some space so I can eat a whole lot more over Christmas).
Turns out I don’t have the willpower to eat less. But I did have the strength of mind to make an appointment to see my friend’s dietician—I’m handing the problem over to an expert! She’ll tell me what to do and I’ll do it (I probably won’t tell her I’m planning to put those pounds back on right away...wouldn’t want to discourage her...).
I was so pleased with myself for making the appointment, I ate a whole pack of licorice candies. Hey, I had to clear them out of the fridge before the dietician starts grilling me about what I eat... So now I have zits popping up. (I didn’t even know I was still young enough to get zits!)
It might sound like I’m a hopeless case when it comes to willpower. But today I made a giant leap forward. I remembered I have a pack of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids, yum) stashed in the back of the fridge...and I didn’t eat it. From here, it’s only a teeny step to bending a spoon just with the power of my mind.
But even if I go into the festive season without losing an ounce, I’m not going to despair of my willpower. Because anyone who’s finished writing a book must surely have willpower in spades. There are so many things that are easier and more fun to do than slogging your way to the end of the book.
Have you finished a book recently? Add a comment and let me know. And accept my congratulations and my tribute to your awesome willpower. Go celebrate—go find that chocolate!


Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

I'm this > < close to finishing my NaNo book (I'm at 79k of 86). So give me two days, and then we can cheer! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 6:58:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mary said...

I finished my book last Saturday! Yes, it was a true test to willpower. And now I'm testing it again while I resist the urge to look at the manuscript before waiting at least a week.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 7:42:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right, making it to 'The End' is life altering and it takes a crapload of willpower!

I finished mine in July (first draft) marketing it now... on maybe my 15th draft!

Sigh... a writer's work is never done.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 2:24:00 AM EST  
Blogger Amanda said...

I finished my very first first draft in October and have been diligently working away on my NaNo book. I'm going to start the revision process after the NaNo book is done. It's an incredible feeling. It took loads of willpower.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 4:30:00 AM EST  
Blogger Kate Pearce said...

I finished book #2 for Kensington and I'm just getting ready to send it off.
I'm also a page away from finishing one for EC as well-so I'm quite proud of myself :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 12:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Liane Gentry Skye said...

I just finished (the painful first draft of) my Nano book which I can only describe as chick lit meets mythology. I recently had my first sale to Red Sage, (interestingly enough the first romance I took to the finish like), so life is feeling pretty good right now. :D

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 12:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Natalie, Amanda, Liane...Congrats to all of you. I'm amazed by how productive people get during NaNo. This year I was determined to participate, but major revisions for my editor on another project put an end to that!
Next year...

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 2:05:00 PM EST  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Mary, well done on finishing! And so must still be on a high. Great idea ot leave it a week or so. Next week I'm going to pick up a manuscript first draft that's been hibernating for a couple of weeks. It's slightly scary, you never know what you'll think of it when you read it again!

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 2:07:00 PM EST  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Anonymous...good luck with marketing your book. My motto is, if you don't submit it, you'll never sell it. Sounds obvious, but there are a lot of people who just never submit.

Kate, I guess you've done that "one more page" for EC by now, so you have two freshly completed books. Yay!

And Amanda, I hope your first manuscript is a wonderful read when you pick it up again! But if it's not...that's what revisions are for. As I keep telling myself...

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 2:11:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Chessie said...

I finished a book recently. Well, within the last half year, but considering the scope of this particular book, that is a pretty short amount of time.

I started it well over three years ago.

I got up to about chapter eight, got hopelessly stuck, then pregnant. So I put it on the back shelf and left it there to die.

After a year and a half raising my first baby, I felt like all my creativity had been literally sucked out of me, and I came within a smidge of giving up altogether and just accepting that maybe I should focus on being a Mom and that was it. I even turned my attention back to my artwork, and almost took steps toward doing that professionally.

Then I had a sinking and terrible thought.

What if to reach the level of proficiency with my artwork that I would need to make a living there, I had to invest the next seven years of my life to that.

I'd already done that with my writing.

It broke my heart. Seven years wasted, if I gave up now. I could have gotten a doctorate in that time. Everything I'd learned, wasted. All those words, wasted. And all that time would have meant nothing.

I cried, then I got back on the horse. With a new crit partner. (You're amazing Angie, I love you!) I worked through the book, revised some of the terrible problems that had me stuck in a sagging middle, and finished it in about six months.

It's the best thing I have ever written, and I love this story. It makes this little part of my heart flutter every time I think about it, and I spend hours at a time fantasizing about my hero just for fun because I can.

I just wish I could share him with everyone, but for the first time, I honestly believe his story will sit on a shelf, and others will love him as much as I do.

I know it.

Now I'm plugging away at another one, and hopelessly in love with hero #2. (Dang I love a good bad boy.)

I'm so glad I didn't give up on myself, or this story. It has made me believe again, I just hope that someone with the power to make things happen believes in it as much as I do.

I've done all I can do.

But I'm glad I didn't give up.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 3:02:00 PM EST  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Chessie, congrats on finishing! You're right, we invest so much in this writing business (for me it was nearly 6 years before I sold my first book) that we really shouldn't give up!

I hope you have submitted the book you love so much, or at least have a plan to do so.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 4:28:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Chessie said...

It's out and about right now. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 5:53:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Jaden said...

I finished a book lately, and I've gotten started on the second in the series, but it's turning out to be a much longer book than I had planned.

I'll go eat some chocolate...

- Jaden

Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 8:23:00 AM EST  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Congrats, Jaden! I hope your second book is going well - I love writing series. Enjoy that chocolate, you deserve it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 12:18:00 PM EST  

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