Monday, February 2, 2015

A writer's Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day! Hopefully, a NYC mayor won't drop you on your head, but I make no promises.

I'm so glad it's February. It's just one day closer to March, April and 60 degree temps. I have a 12-inch snow pack outside my door and more snow is on its way.  Needless to say, the KGG household has been crunky lately. My kids don't like the cold (they opt not to go outside and play in the snow) and we miss school. Anyhoo... what was I saying?

Oh! Groundhog Day. Yeah. So I bet many of you love the Bill Murray movie of the same name, where Bill Murray's character relives the same day over and over again. But each day, he makes better decisions until it's the perfect day (or something like that; it's been awhile since I've seen the movie). As an author, I feel like everyday is Groundhog Day. I sit at my computer, look at the same manuscript, try to make headway, and feel like I'm never moving forward. But that's not entirely true. In time, my word count increases. My plot strengthens. My characters materialize. Even if most days, I feel like I'm just trudging through the same headaches.

I'm still working on my novella. Why a 30K word manuscript is giving me such a headache, I do not know. Maybe because it's set in 1955 and I'm not as confident in the 50s setting as I was with 1996. I wrote a 19K word draft that is terrible and the rewrite is proving to be an equal struggle. But, I know that I'm a better editor than writer. Once the plot is solidified, the tweaks to language and characterization will improve. I bet my author friends feel like it's Groundhog Day because I keep bemoaning the project every-damn-day to them. "Enough, Kim. We get it."

So chin up, fair writers. This winter shall pass. This day shall pass. This manuscript will get done.  One bite of elephant at a time.

Happy Groundhog Day! Don't let this dreadful winter and your manuscript cast a shadow over your ambitions.

-KGG



19 comments:

  1. I love the Groundhog Day movie! One of our household favorites :) And whichever way it works, I really pray we don't have 6 more weeks of winters, though who am I kidding? I live in Montana. We have two months more at least. Bleh--not a winter person... Anyhow, good luck with your novella--I'm sure it's going to be awesome!

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  2. Now I want to watch Groundhog's day

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  3. I'm sitting here and there is more than a foot of snow on my back deck. I'm mildly depressed. Everyday this winter takes away a little bit of my soul.

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  4. Groundhog Day is a great movie! We've been lucky with no snow so far (knock on wood), but it's been rainy and gray skies. This weather does make it difficult to feel like progress is being made. I've taken Vitamin D supplements for a long time and I think that helps ward off the winter blues. Can't wait to hear about your novella when it's finished - I know you will get there!

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    1. I take vit D too. I think the only thing that will help me is Vitamin F -- for Florida.

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  5. It is snowing as I type this and more snow is expected this week. I do think the snow looks pretty- but I am ready for warmer temps. So- I am thrilled that we are in February and each day a day closer to spring. :)

    Good luck with your novella!
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks, Jess. I worked on it today. My husband is home because of the snow so I managed to get some writing done. Silver lining and all.

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  6. Groundhog Day is a great metaphor for the writing process, Kimberly! You go on and on until you hit that perfect day when the first draft is complete, then you get to go to the next day (revisions!). Then it starts all over again. Hope you make it to the next day sometime soon (shippin' it out!).

    On a side note, for any Sci-Fi fans out there, the movie "Edge of Tomorrow" (repackaged as Live, Die, Repeat on DVD) is a souped up version of Groundhog Day where instead of waking up every morning, Tom Cruise actually dies... For that reason, it's great for both Tom Cruise and non-Tom Cruise fans alike!

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    1. You and Bob should do a movie night w/it after the kids are in bed. I might even be worth an anti-pasta spread. ;)

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  7. Great post! I'm like that w/revising right now, where I feel like I'm hardly moving. But I am over halfway through (on this pass anyway) so I am eating that elephant. =) (ew) And I loved Edge of Tomorrow! It was a really great movie. I didn't know they changed the name for the DVD. I had no idea that was 'allowed'. And Emily Blunt is fantastic in that movie!

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    1. Seriously one of my favorite movies of all time. So well done, editing, writing, done to perfection. Watch if you haven't people!

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  8. Groundhog Day is on my TV right now. :) I love how you compared writing to the movie. It fits perfectly. I know revisions can drive me bonkers, but not as much as waking up to Sonny and Cher every morning!

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  9. would you believe I have never seen Groundhog's Day?! Then again most movies most people have seen I never did, it's pretty lame! But I know the concept and yup, that would describe my writing life about now!! feels incredibly stagnant and stuck and repetitive!

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  10. The phrase "One bite of elephant at a time" is probably a expression, but I've never heard it before, and it made me laugh! I also like your half-metaphor, half-pun at the end there ("Don't let this dreadful winter and your manuscript cast a shadow over your ambitions.")

    I'm trying to write an 800 (!) word thing at the moment and it's kicking my butt. So I know what you mean. Hang in there!

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  11. We were supposed to get a blizzard, but it moved around us. I'm about to start a newish manuscript, from short stories I wrote in high school.

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  12. I've never seen Groundhog's Day all the way through. Up until recently, I seriously lacked an appreciation for Bill Murray. On the snow front, we were dumped on yesterday and I'm pretty miserable with it, as are my chickens. Hoping for spring soon!

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  13. I've never seen Groundhog's Day all the way through. Up until recently, I seriously lacked an appreciation for Bill Murray. On the snow front, we were dumped on yesterday and I'm pretty miserable with it, as are my chickens. Hoping for spring soon!

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  14. As crazy as it sounds, I still haven't seen that movie. I'm a bit behind the times I suppose :)

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