Late Draft Syndrome

I’ve working on The Fucker for a couple hundred years, give or take. In the past month I’ve had two or three ideas for essays that are tangential to the Fucker, but as of now don’t belong in the Fucker.

There are parts of The Fucker where the sentences sing. My page or two of these baby essays? The sentences are inert and, between you and me, ugly. I hate them. But I need to put that aside and keep writing. I can make them sing later.

And even my pretty sentences I despise at this point in lucky draft #13. I printed out my last section the other day. I listened to Ann Hood’s podcast on what makes a kick-ass essay that Teri has been talking about. And it was worth the hype.

It made me mark five things in the first two (single spaced) pages that I needed to fix. And I knew the right questions to ask. Then I put the printed-out manuscript away. I’ve been freewriting in my little sugar-cane notebook because I can’t bear to look at the manuscript. The pretty sentences are shouting.

This is late draft syndrome, the inability to write anything new because it all seems like so much work, and the inability to work further on the main project. But today it’s a few pages of this essay or bust.

What are your baby steps?



5 responses to “Late Draft Syndrome

  1. I, too, have escaped my late-draft manuscript to write a few essays. The good news is that it’s recharged me to go back to the ms, so there’s that.

  2. I’m baby-stepping my way through the first draft of my book, writing a little new stuff and revising it every day. I like Ann Lamott’s advice about seeing one square inch at a time, like, Okay, today I’m going to describe ____. That’s all I’m going to do. I love the idea of that.

  3. Picking a scene I know is important to the story and writing it, while flipping the continuity fairy the bird.

    I’ll hook it up, later. Right now, I just need to write.

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