Serena J. Cavanaugh :: Blog

September 24, 2009

The Writing Life

Filed under: Cultural Rants, The Writing Life — Tags: , , , — serena @ 10:46 am





This morning I awoke with a sense of dread. I just finished the first draft of my second novel – meaning I finished a few weeks ago. Hundreds of the novel’s pages are stacked on my desk, out of order, with tons of edits and suggestions scrawled along the margins – products of writing group comments and various family reader-helpers. The book is about 10,000 words short and I didn’t have the foresight to organize it by chapter. Ick.


So what do I do? I take a long bath. Then I have a cup of tea with buttered toast and peach jam. I water the garden and dead head some dahlias. Then the novel starts pulling at the corners of my mind. I’m thinking of some plot threads that I left hanging. I’m thinking of a title that isn’t corny on the one hand or misleading on the other. I’m thinking of the characters, the poor schmucks I created and pretty much f—ed with for a year.


I don’t want to work on this novel today… but it’s in my head, bugging and pestering me and I understand why a lot of writers are drinkers. There’s a certain addictive quality to the whole thing, an inescapable seduction… a trap.


So before I know it, I’m sorting through the stacks of manuscript; I’m on the computer editing and bemoaning the errors and missing prepositions (my most common mistake), I’m scrolling through the document, checking for continuity, repetition, and little holes I can fill in with words to make that word count minimum….


Which is a good thing, because it’s what I want to do, right? Right? RIGHT?



What I’m Reading Now


 Julie and Julia by Julie Powers


 Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto



Suddenly One Summer by Barbara Freethy



  1. :) Funny how prone we all are to not only the drinking, but the deadheading, the toast, the procrastination….congrats on getting it done, AND on having the fortitude to start editing!

    Comment by Rachel — October 25, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

  2. Can you believe I’m still editing. And I have soooo many holes. I guess that’s good because I need the words. I can’t ait until you guys get to hear the end.

    Comment by serena — October 26, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

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