A Day in Mariposa’s Office: Revising, Surprising, & Surviving

You remember how last month I was celebrating my boss lady’s completion of her book? Yeah, you guessed it, the completion wasn’t so complete—I can hear you mentally laughing, so stop it. The only person who’s allowed to laugh at her fickleness is me. So I’ll laugh for you.

Ha ha ha.

What happened was she began revising the second book in the series. Everything was going smooth. No plot holes. Minimal typos. Then she started thinking (that always gets her in trouble). She read an article that pointed out a glaring error in the first book. The whole structure collapsed and nearly disabled her brain. Yep, you got it right, folks—it was a critical case of writer’s block!

She couldn’t work on the second book. She couldn’t work on the first book. She couldn’t work on scratching out the letters needed to compose a grocery list. And the worst part was the question every writer poses to themselves in a crisis:

Am I good writer?

That question was soon followed by the symptom of asking more inane questions:

Am I a bad writer?

Is my book horrible?

Should I give up writing?

I knew if I didn’t do something, her condition could prove fatal, so I forced some good sense down her throat until she choked on her melancholy. I told her, “A good writer isn’t someone who never makes mistakes—a good writer is someone who gets blisters to fix them.”

And yes, you’re welcome for my inspirational thought of the day.

So then Mariposa spent a whole day studying up on structure and taking notes and another day outlining the book she never outlined (the whole problem would have been solved if she’d only outlined the book properly, but she wrote the thing back in the ancient days when she had no concept of literary engineering). Now she is returning to the first book, hammering away, rearranging the scenes, and acquiring more brain blisters than she can count. The strangest thing is that she’s happy about it! She wanted to be done with revising the first book by now, but she said, “Writing one great book makes me feel more satisfied than if I wrote ten books that are just okay.”

But writing one great book may take her a hundred years. I hope I’m not extinct by then.

Anyway, something else happened this month even more devastating than writer’s block. She went to Realm Makers and met some of the staff of Saury Embers!

Why is that so tragic? BECAUSE I COULDN’T GO! Realm Makers has some stupid rule about “dragons and humans only.” I tried attaching some plastic wings to my back and drinking some Tabasco sauce to make me breath fire, but I wasn’t terribly convincing to the conference staff.

Maybe next year…

Leastways, Mariposa told me enough about it that I almost felt like I was there. She and I had been plotting her trip for over a month. Not that planning the trip took that long, but deciding whether her constitution could handle that much socializing took hours of deliberation. Thankfully, she didn’t die and ended up meeting a lot of cool people. Her favorite part was being able to surprise her coworkers (no one knew she was coming).

Top row, starting left: Josiah DeDino, Brachiosaurus Miller, Gabrielle Pollackiosaurus. Bottom row: Brianna Stormersaurus, my boss lady, Hoperaptor Ann, and Roarlena Hatfield. Never mind the people lounging around in the background—they’re not cool enough to mention.

A few other cool humanoids she encountered on her expedition included Jennrassic Carr, Audreyosaurus Cayex, and Jessi Raeodon.

Have you been struggling with writer’s block lately? How have you conquered it? Have any of you been to Realm Makers or a writing conference?

4 thoughts on “A Day in Mariposa’s Office: Revising, Surprising, & Surviving

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