Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ICU: Books in recovery


You've finished your manuscript.

It's... PERFECT. Okay, so you need to run a quick spell check through it, and maybe let your mom proofread it for you, but, agents, editors, eat your hearts out! LET THE BIDDING BEGIN!

What? No offers? No one banging on your door, driving up in a limo, begging you to pick them?

So.... I'm going medical on you today to give you a little hint as to why this strange phenomenon might be occurring. Given that, hopefully, daddy is getting out of the hospital today, I felt it appropriate to use a "hospital" analogy.

Writing a book is like surgery.

Seriously, stop laughing at me now. I'm serious!! You prep... have tests done, prepare, (some of you... unless you're a SOTP writer and then it's emergency surgery every time.).

You're getting ready for THE EVENT. In this case, it's writing your book.

The actual surgery is grueling. You're replacing parts, adding parts, deleting parts, at times you may have to have the paddle used on your book in order to jump-start it if it goes code blue. But eventually... you type the end. You squirt the glue that closes the incision, or sew the last stitch. (Can we all tell that I am NOT a doctor???)

Then... you're in recovery. All is well... right? Bring on publication!

Not quite. NOW it's time to RECOVER. We monitor heart-beats, check oxygen levels, administer pain medicine. There is sometimes grueling physical therapy. Because even though the body is FIXED... your book is WRITTEN... you still have to get it to tip, top condition.

Otherwise, your book is ineffective, it's in no shape to leave the hospital, it's in critical condition in ICU. You can forget running marathons anytime soon, heck you can't even go to the bathroom without someone assisting you (and ain't THAT a pleasant treat!)

The point is, we finish our books... but if you don't give it time and effort in going through the editing... er... recovering... stage... it may very well flat-line.

So what are you waiting for??? If you're in surgery, scrub in and get to work. If you're in recovery, start doing laps down the hall (okay... that doesn't QUITE work in the analogy) and get to editing! Strengthen that book, people!

Discussion: How is your "book recovery" going? Or are you still in surgery? Or maybe something else in your life needs some TLC recovery time. A marriage, a relationship, a job, your Bible reading, a diet (my diet is in MAJOR need of recovery this week!) Wow... now that I think about it, there are a lot of things in my life that could use a bit of editing! Hmmm....

13 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

Great analogy, Krista! Often we do rush to get our books out there after we finish the writing stage. But as you said, they need recovery time, and that is often slow and painful! I think that the longer we write, the more we realize this, don't you? The more surgeries and rejections you face, the more you realize that it's better to wait and take the time to get it ready. Otherwise we risk damage!

sherrinda said...

I'm afraid that, while just out of surgery, I'm headed back in for some major reconstruction, with alot of cosmetic procedures! lol :)
Great post, girl!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I think I'm in different stages for all three books. How does that work? I better take it easy just to be safe. :D
~ Wendy

Marybeth Poppins said...

Mine's been lingering on life support lately. It's opened it's eyes a few times, but I'm not quite sure if I'm ready for the quadruple chapter transplant it's going to need. I've just been visiting it in the ICU from time to time. I did bring it a new first chapter to cheer it up. It seemed to awaken it for a moment, but then it went back to sleep. I'm not ready to pull the plug though. This vegetable will come back to life...you just wait!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

This was awesome, Krista!!!

I'm definitely in the looking-in-the-mirror, "Hmm, is this a problem?" stage... meaning I haven't gone through surgery prep yet. I can't wait to start the surgery!

So glad your dad is doing better!

Erica Vetsch said...

This made me laugh...I've been doing major surgery on a novel all this week.

Yesterday I did an emergency procedure on chapter seven. :) Hope the stitches hold.

T. Anne said...

The first chapter of my WIP is currently in the OR, it's dicey, I'm not sure if it's going to make it.

Regina Milton said...

Great post! I'm prepping a new work for surgery right now. I love the analogy. Though I'm not necessarily looking forward to the procedure and the recovery, I'm excited to get started because I ignored the call on my life for a while and don't want to do so anymore.

Jill Kemerer said...

What a fun post! I'm a plastic surgeon right now. I'm giving a book I wrote last year a face-lift, and it's a lot of fun!

Beth said...

This is a great analogy. I think I'm in pre-op, still trying to get ready for surgery!

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks, Krista. I came here looking for a laugh--not a mirror pointing back at my own botched surgery job. Lots of analogies, all right. Why did you have to make so many good points?

Tara said...

Great analogy. I think I'm in recovery.

Kelly H-Y said...

That was a great analogy!