Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Very Hairy Manuscript

Tip of the Day: since Kate posted about pets yesterday, I wanted to join in the fun. And since "have your pet spade or neutered" is already a famous tip from Bob Barker, then I guess my tip would be that if you are in the market for a pet, don't forget about your local animal shelter. There are tons of great animals that need good homes! You too could have your own wonderful animal to jump on your head when your manuscript starts to give you trouble!

... and leaving my hair wherever I go!
I spent most of this weekend doing one of my least favorite things: cleaning. Not my manuscript, but my house. However, I have noticed that the two share many things in common.

Both of them bring great joy...

Along with provide many headaches.

And both are littered with messy dog hair.

Okay, my manuscript doesn't really have actual dog hair mentioned within it, but it contains the messy part. Just in the form of misspelled words, incomplete sentences, dropped plot lines, and a whole lot of other messes that are far more difficult than dog hair to clean up (which trust me is far from easy, especially when your dog sheds more than Howie Mandel likes to mention his Twitter handle on America's Got Talent).

And cleaning up all that mess can feel very liberating. In your house, it's nice to be able to walk around without feeling like you have to hide your face in shame. In your manuscript, it's a great feeling of accomplishment when you tie up loose ends and make all your words sparkly and pretty.

But at the same time, as soon as you get one hair picked up, it always feels like three more have just fallen to add to the mess. In our house, it's a never ending battle against the dog hair, which mirrors my writing exactly. As soon as I pick up one mess, it immediately feels like three more have been created and also need cleaned up. It's a vicious cycle and knowing when to call it quits is hard.

For me the weekend ended, so I decided it was easier to live with dog hair again than drive myself insane trying to pick it up every second. Normally, it's clean enough, though, when we allow company in to see our house. And with my writing, the cycle usually ends the exact same way: when most the messy parts are cleaned up and someone wants to see it. Except it's an editor or agent, instead of a relative.

You will never get the dog hair all cleaned up and completely rid yourself of a mess. And if you did, chances are the book (or your home) wouldn't be nearly as interesting or exciting if it was spotless. But you have to do the best you can and be satisfied with how all that mess can lead to greatness--or at the very least happiness!

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


Kate Fall said...

I can't even imagine if writing a novel was as difficult as cleaning up dog hair. At least writing a novel theoretically has an end!

Emily Marshall said...

True! But both are still really hard!