When Life Gets in the Way . . .

I’m baaaaaaack! After a year’s absence from this blog, I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just write off the silent months as life getting in the way of life. Sometimes things don’t work out as planned, and we need to be flexible and go with the flow. So that’s what I did, and the creative juices flowed.

 First, I had a disagreement with my landlord and moved. This was frustrating, expensive, and time-consuming. Enough said.

 Second, I had to downsize once again. I’m now living with the minimal accoutrements that allow me to function, but this turned out to be a blessing: less junk; less housekeeping.

 Finally, I needed a total knee replacement and spent eight weeks in pain waiting for doctors’ appointments and a surgery date in late May. The surgery, recovery, and physical therapy were painful, expensive, and time-consuming. This too was a blessing for I couldn’t walk. So, for the first time since I began this manuscript two years ago—or maybe more, but who’s counting—I kept my butt in the chair and wrote all day every day and sometimes into the night to finish the manuscript. Yes, you heard correctly: I finished the manuscript. By finished I mean edited, polished, ready to go, ready for the eyes of an agent.

 The problem now is getting an agent to read it since this is my first manuscript. I’ve published many humor essay in magazines, but this is a novel. A publisher will have to spend money to print it. What if no one wants it?

 Fortunately, I had registered for the Mystery Writers of America Killer Nashville conference early in the spring, and I was determined to attend that conference after my surgery. This inspired me to work at my therapy exercises. By conference time in late August, I was walking without pain, and I had a polished manuscript. Off I went to Nashville sporting a six-inch scar from top to bottom of my knee. I met agents, editors, publishers, and publicists.

 Then I had to write a query letter, a 350-word synopsis of the book, which is almost 70,000 words, and a bio of my publishing history. Each agent/editor/publisher wants something different, so I spent a month rewriting to make the changes each agent wanted. Suddenly, writing isn’t so much fun. The business of writing gets in the way of the creative side. I have yet to find a blessing in this part, but when I find one, I’ll let you know. At least my manuscript is on its way to agent eyes.

 Meanwhile, go with the flow if your project doesn’t work out as you planned. Maybe you too can change adversity into a finished manuscript, or a query letter, or a miniscule summary of your story, or find a way to fill your bio when you have no book credits.

Take the challenge by placing butt in chair and creating something—Write Now!

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About Susan Harvey

I'm a humor writer and a newly retired college English instructor. I enjoy reading and writing yet don't take time to do what I really love--writing. I began writing a mystery-romance novel three years ago. Now that I'm retired, I will make time to write with the goal of finishing my novel.
This entry was posted in Muses and Madness: The Writing Life. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When Life Gets in the Way . . .

  1. Martin, Vivian says:

    It’s great to have you back! Love your stuff!

  2. Henry Danis says:

    Glad you’re back. I’ve missed your blogs. CONGRATULATIONS on finishing the manuscript. A huge achievement.

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