Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG: Ultra Polished Turds

 
Sometimes I feel I'm behind. That the curtain isn't raising anytime soon on me saying "I'm finally querying my MS!" But what's taking me so long? And does it have its advantages?

FIRST, what's taking me so long... it's been over a year since I started rough drafts and revisions of my YA Living RunAway. Well...I've been seriously busy helping all my writer friends left and right. Everything from ARC review requests (which've been an honor to be asked), lots of beta requests for books you're reading now or shortly coming out (thank you to all that have trusted my eyes), and co-writing a new YA MS with my writing bestie, Elizabeth Seckman, and a future children's book with Jay Noel's wife, Janet. And need I forget the success of CHARLIE'S SCRIBES?? What fun we've had venturing and posting on other's blogs!! (And this is just writing stuff...)
SECOND, does it have its advantages? Is it hindering time on my first baby? As I look back and gear up for its final edits, I realize that if I didn't do all I could for others...I would never learn all I could for mine. When I beta, I see my own flaws and/or things to steer from. When I read your published books, I see what works and what doesn't. And when I take a break to work on one of my collabs, I get to be creative in a whole new fashion, which gives me a therapeutic release. 

SHINE ON in the SHADOWS of OTHERS.
WHEN you can do that, you're work becomes a major polished TURD.
Others are content rushing out there, getting the ball rolling, and kudos to that. Many can pull a book out their butts in a week, maybe less than even a few months, but not all of us can or want to. Me? I don't want to. I enjoy learning on the way, and trying to make mine the biggest POLISHED TURD you've ever seen! With high hopes that it doesn't stink like crap! BUT there's something else I've noticed...a lot of BIG things DO happen over time. I recently read a Cliff Bar's history on how it took 2 years to come up with the perfect recipe. How many times do you hear that PERFECT "RECIPES" take years of trial and error? Why not you're own work? Why rush it just to get quickly disappointed? At least if you take time to polish it, and you're turned down, you'll know you did EVERYTHING to make it your BEST. Then move on, and try, try again!!

SHINE ON in the SHADOWS of OTHERS to ACCOMPLISH ULTRA POLISHED TURDS.
Make sure it's fermented with your ALL to be the best fertilizer EVER.
Because the best fertilizer ever...makes other things grow!
So what about you? Have you learned along the way?
Has it made your work a more polished turd?

31 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, I learn as I go and find just learn from reading and helping others like you. I am terribly slow in my writing these days. It sounds like your co-writing projects are making it harder to get your own manuscript done. But these sound like cool projects too.

Pat Hatt said...

Thankfully I go to the bathroom and clean out, then pull the book from my butt, looks and smells nicer that way lol

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I am mesmerized by the picture of that golden polished turd resting on the red cushion. What a poignant image.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Pat's hilarious and so are you Tammy. I have delayed my series multiple times so I know about trying to get things right. I don't want a trud but I do want to share my best. Glad to see you do too. Helping others always brings back something positive. Don't stop.

Chrys Fey said...

I enjoy learning on the way too, and taking my time. :) I wish I could write a book and have it ready to be published every few months like these other writers I see, but I can't. And I don't really want to. I purposefully put off the editing process from my upcoming novella, 30 Seconds because I didn't want it released so soon after my debut.

Keep up polishing your book! But sometimes, doing so much for others (although we love it) can hinder us. Maybe you can cut back a little so you will have more time for your book. Good luck!

klahanie said...

Hi human, Tammy,

Why do turds suddenly appear, every time, you are near....Ignore that, human.

Being an expert on turds and turd counts, I'm never worried about a time frame in getting a book completed. You go at a pace that makes you feel comfortable. You are keeping busy with resources conducive to your own writing inspiration.

No contest, just have fun and keep polishing your turds at that pace that makes you feel comfortable.

It's only turds and turds are all I have...

Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No books up my butt!
Don't stress it and go at your own pace.

Al Diaz said...

It's good to learn and polish, just remember all things in excess are bad. Keep a pace that is comfortable with you, just not too comfortable that you don't dare to leave safe ground, namely, helping others and doing nothing for yourself. Dragon Hugs.

ilima said...

Sometimes you feel your behind? Hmm. Sounds...fun? And it kinda explains the polished turd thing. Haha.

I actually think beta-ing other manuscripts is the biggest thing that has helped my own writing. By far. I consider it part of my writer education.

Elephant's Child said...

Hooray for the creators of polished, bejewelled, gilded turds.
And thank you.

Tammy Theriault said...

THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SUPPORT AND LOVE THROUGH WORDS!!! Xoxoxox

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, man... the image of polishing a turd is going to be stuck in my mind for, like, minutes, now. Maybe even many minutes. I'm gagging as I type.

Loni Townsend said...

Entertaining as always! Where on earth did you find that picture?

I say take your time. Perfection can't be rushed.

S.P. Bowers said...

Yes, I've learned along the way. My first novel I finished with all the edits and beta reading took four years. I had so much to learn. And yeah, it was a bit of a turd, but it was very polished!

S.K. Anthony said...

LOL You're too awesome. A polished turd. *snort*

I agree that betaing helps our own writing . . . while co-authoring is a whole adventure on its own. Great fun and stressful projects you have, but hey you will knock this out of the park for sure. :)

S.K.Anthony: IWSG

Christine Rains said...

*LOL* You're hilarious! But you're right. Learn through helping other writers and your turd, I mean, story will shine. The WIP I'm working on now has had the most polishing I've ever done, and it's gleaming. One more draft to go. I want it to blind editors with its glow! Well, hm, maybe not blind them. I still want them to read it all and love it.

Leigh Covington said...

LOL! I love your shiny, polished, turd! Totally awesome! And love the meaning behind it all, as well. It is indeed fantastic to learn from others.

Donna Hole said...

I rediscovered a writing passion after critting/beta reading for other. That balance helped me see the flaws in my own writing. Eventually I had to say "no" and work on my stuff; but it was easier after writing so much advice, and knowing I could use that for myself also.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

You definitely are a busy lady! I don't know how you do it. If it makes you feel better, it usually takes me three to four years to be ready to let one of my babies venture out into the world. I like to write them, then leave them to chill while I do other things, and then go back and read it over, do some rewriting, then set it aside again. Then re-read it. Then if it's passable, I hit up my betas (and they still find plenty of flaws!), then off to the editor, who finds even more flaws. It's a long process.

But polished turds are way better to share with the world than total pooh.

DAVID WALSTON said...

HA! Where do you come up with this stuff! You are one talented and creative woman! Did I use enough exclamation points or do you need more!!!!!!!!

J.L. Campbell said...

Good attitude, Tammy. Spending quality time on a manuscript will mean that we have the assurance that it's the best book we can produce.

Michael Di Gesu said...

GIRL.... HAVE you HIT HOME with this one!

I AM TOTALLY in the same boat as you.... Oh, baby. lol.

Anyway. I JUST finished my final edit on a novel I wrote THREE years ago. Still getting feedback from betas, but at this point the corrections SHOULD be minor. Your buddy Mark found lots for me to correct... LOL.

It does take time to POLISH.... Everyone tells me to MOVE on... not me. I'm and old dog with his favorite chew toy... I'm not giving up on what i've spent so much of my heart and soul on...

This week I tweak the query.... FUN... I just hope it grabs an agent's attention. Thankfully i've had interest in this novel already and now with the FINAL SHAMMY SPARKLE, hopefully I'll get the response I want.

WE are givers, and our time will come! WE help everyone in the community and they will be there for us when it's our turn.... I honestly believe that.

As my blog states.... IN Time...

Have a great weekend. Summer's on the rise and so are those running shorts!

Heather Holden said...

I agree, it's usually not good to rush things. The best things always need some time to shine!

Suze said...

'Many can pull a book out their butts in a week,'

This made me laugh.

Everyone works at their own speed. That's all there is to it!

Tammy Theriault said...

Thanks everyone!! Loves to all!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tammy - we all work differently and being a part of Charlie's Scribes is an excellent way to get out and meet other bloggers.

We learn so much from everyone in the blogosphere .. I'm so pleased I'm around ..

Good luck - cheers Hilary

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey stranger,

I think you're right!

We are all wired differently, so there's no need to come in first place - so long as you finish :)

PS: OH, I just *love* Charlie's Scribes... those two ladies and the weird bald guy are soo funny..

What?

Crystal Collier said...

LOL. I wrote something related to this for my IWSG last week, about how NOT rushing to publication is a good thing. You really have to enjoy every stage of the game because once you have a published book out there, it only gets crazier, harder, and overwhelming-er. Enjoy this stage. If you're not ready, you're not ready. I had a literary agent in my pocket in 2006, but I wasn't ready, not until 2013. Do I regret it? Not one bit.

David P. King said...

It wasn't until I started helping out with people's queries that I finally figured out how to really write one myself. We writers learn best from each other, I think. :)

Gina Stoneheart said...

Tammy, I can't tell you how much I needed to read this today... truly. I'm participating in Carrie's How I Found the Write Path blogfest and stumbled upon your blog. I love this: "SHINE ON in the SHADOWS of OTHERS to ACCOMPLISH ULTRA POLISHED TURDS."
I've been a bit hard on myself because I basically wrote the manuscript for my novel over the winter but I just can't seem to get the ending moving along... or bring it to its END. I have so many things going on with my children's book work and reviewing for other authors that I just can't find the time to grasp it right now. And with the day job, forget about it! I have to stop being so hard on myself and reading this post today really helped me. It reminded me that we don't have to necessarily rush our stories. But we must keep the creative process moving. Since I'm doing this with my children's work, I should be a lot less harsh on my novel endeavors. Thank you for sharing this!

Jan Morrison said...

I am trying to take my time - polishing turds could be a spiritual practice - yep. I'm quite sure it is. I write in a white heat and revise like I'm sitting in a cool stream. Actually it is probably the other way around. In a white heat I would write so slowly as sweat drops fell onto the vellum manuscript - whereas in a cool stream I could write rather speedily on my underwater type-a-writer, anxious to get to my Tequila Mocking Bird. (one shot of tequila, red currant juice and a splash of soda water)