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Monday, October 27, 2008

How to write a book

How to write a book..... How to write A book... one book, hmmm maybe thats the problem here. I have several books being written, all in the early stages, tho one of them would be complete if only I had a analytical, utterly bored, computer savvy editor that works pro bono until my book begins making millions.

I have a "thoughts for today" type of thing going. On one of the recovery websites (12stepradio.com) there is an "inspirational" forum. Well over a year ago I began doing these thoughts for the day. It never occurred to me to keep them organized, duh!
So now I have pretty much enough to create the book but I'd have to go into each day one at a time, copy and paste it onto some sort of book like format.

People in 12step recovery love those suckers! They eat 'em up. Hazelton makes a buttload of money on them. But here mine sits gathering dust.

I also have a kind of children's book that is so awesome I can't believe I wrote it (or am in process anyway). It's about a little ray of sunlight that Father Sun sends down to earth to inhabit a human body and remind all the people who have forgotten who they are that they all come from Him.... breath, run on sentence much? Anyway it goes into Raya's (the hero) head and shows how her "computer like" mind (oh and there are all sorts of cool characters in her head) try to get her to believe she is only human. She has angels and fairies and pixies that help her along her journey. Doesn't that sound cool?

The third one is called "My Sponsor the sex addict" and it follows a long distance sponsor - sponsee's emails back and forth from the beginning of her addiction, to the end of her recovery. But of course who knows, she may off herself, her sponsor may relapse, anything could happen. This is a true story with the actual e-mails and oh my God is it cool! Very funny, frightening and sad. Lots of insight and excitement.

So here they all sit on my little laptop, in 6 journals, on napkins, torn pieces of paper and many times the back of my hand waiting for a miracle to drop out of the sky and say "Here Tracy, let me see what you have and I will format everything for you. You just send me the stuff as you go darling, I'll do the rest.

I won't even begin to tell you all how many poems, lyrics, and short stories I have sprawled out all over the universe!

I look at angels blog "angels mind" (how do you do that link thingy? Oh well it's over there on the left). She does like maybe 3 blogs, but primarily ONE, and she does it SO well! If I combined all my websites, blogs, writings, music, singing, art, photography into one spot... well the internet would explode.


So I guess I should have named this "How not to write a book" Or "How to think about writing a book" or "How and ADHDer writes books". But I will get back to you on the title, I'm in the middle of tie dying some sheets, painting my toenails, and I've had to pee for like 20 minutes.

Oh cool look! A butterfly.....

Okay so I've never updated one particular portion of my blog (obviously, THAT would make too much sense) but I'm attempting it here. We shall see how it works.

So, for the past couple years I've been going to a weekly writers group. They are amazing and help me with semi-colon's (is that spelled right?) and SPELLING! They are also amazing cheerleaders, encouraging me constantly to keep going.
The cool thing is, because I have to read a 4 to 8 page chapter to them every week, I find myself writing every week.

The meeting is at six pm Thursdays, so at 3 pm Thursdays I freak the hell out, scramble around and pump something out, print seven copies, staple each one, and run out the door five minutes late. Fortunately I drive entirely too fast so end up arriving early. The whole, last minute thing works for me. PRESSURE! It really works folks.

The name of the book has changed to "Her Sex Addict Speaks" and it is creative non fiction, which basically means it's my life story and what I can't exactly remember, I make up. :D Little is made up though I promise. It shows my journey from sexual abuse into my addiction and drinking and then into recovery. Frankly I must tell you, it's FREAKIN AWESOME!

So usually seven of us show up on any given Thursday. They write their comments, suggestions and make grammatical corrections on their copies and return them to me after a short critique. I got pissed and defensive at first but soon realized I didn't know diddly squat and they really wanted to help. So I appreciate it now. I'm supposed to be taking the copies home and editing my original from them, thus completing a chapter. Then I should be throwing away all the copies and keeping the one good copy all chronologically ordered with the others. NOT HAPPENING.

What I now have is a huge box filled with two years worth of drafts, seven or eight copies, all different, piled in a box. Ugh! There is no order. I made a lame attempt to put them into three piles, before, during and after. Eh, whatever.

It didn't matter because I was so smart. I knew I emailed each chapter to my husbands computer to print for me, so at I'd ALWAYS have those original copies. YES! I rock! Then, his hard drive crashed and he lost half the book. But WAIT... maybe I have them in a sent file on my computer? No of course not. Why would I think like a normal person. So here I am with like thirty little chapters all out of order, multiple copies, some on this computer, others on that computer, some growing gnarly teeth in a box and some on a jump drive which I'm sure is SOMEWHERE in my car.

But folks, even though I'm feeling very overwhelmed and like I can't do it, I keep plugging away. I'm not worrying (much) about the monster box looming over me. Nor do I think about the timeline and story board I should have done two years ago. Of course I COULD do it now, but then you'd miss out on todays update right? My five readers; I'd never do that to you.

Soooo How to write a book if you're ADHD?
  1. Focus on one book or article. Don't worry about the four great stories in the drawer. They will be there after you're done.
  2. Get involved in a writers group you're accountable to that cheers you on.
  3. Edit immediately after you get revisions and corrections.
  4. Trust your gut, listen and let others help and give you feedback, but don't lose your voice or style in the process. I learned that one the hard way.
  5. For God sakes, keep copies in coherent order. Keep an update on a jump drive with every new chapter.
  6. Create folders #1 Original drafts #2 Edited drafts #3 Final drafts #4 REALLY final drafts #5 I'm so done with these chapters.
  7. Try not to interrupt the creative process with logic. nuff said

So I really am learning how to write a book, and babies, it's gonna be AMAZING when it's done!!!
It will get done by golly. Just you wait and see. I CAN DO THIS!

Until next time, keep on writing!


angel said...

oh tracy... i do so love reading your stuff!
i wish i had advice for you on how to get all your books sorted- maybe make lists for each day and allocate a time slot for each project? i would so love to be there and help you out somehow!
and i actually have 5 of my own blog, 1 that i share with a friend, and 2 others that i maintain and contribute to.
thank you for the wonderful compliments!

Dawn said...

I too wish we could get together and manifest our books into reality. How cool would it be with you, me and Angel in one room. It's the stuff dreams are made of. Thank you for coming to visit. I love coming here, too. Hugs and Love to you. xoxo

angel said...

helloooooo tracy!
i do hope 2009 started well for you, and that it will continue as such!

angel said...

right. its been long enough. what are you up to!??!

ADD Tracy said...

Okay, trying to focus on staying connected to you lovely people. Facebook bogged me down. I am limiting myself to only be on it 12 hours a day instead of 15. I'm very proud of myself. Ohh come play poker or Sorority Life with me, it will be fun! LOL
Thank you GOD for keeping me away from Farmville!