Why writing makes me feel like taking a hammer to my head

Great photo essay at pamie.com about first draft writing.

Half of my WIP is on Draft 3. The other half is on Draft 2. Don’t ask. I am liable to take your head off at your knees. The goal is to have everything up to Draft 3 quality by Christmas. Yesterday I expanded chapter 19 into three chapters. This morning it is clear that chapters 24 & 25 should be combined into one. The universe craves balance, I guess. At 10 pm last night when I wailed that this was going to be a 400-pound, I mean 400-page, book, BH patted my head and suggested that maybe I needed to sleep.

I don’t want to sleep. I want to stay awake for the next 1000 hours and fight my way through this sucker.

I guess I’ve entered the Fear and Loathing Stage of the writing process.

At least it’s snowing out.

(Still looking for healthy muffin recipes. My Aunt Barb came through for me. Anyone else? Muffins just might be the salvation of this book!)

17 Replies to “Why writing makes me feel like taking a hammer to my head”

  1. Bran muffins

    Here is a high-fiber bran muffin recipe–they turn out pretty moist too, not dry and crumbly. I used whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose and golden raisins instead of dried apples (didn’t have any dried apples handy), and they were good!

    2 cups all-bran cereal
    1 cup nonfat milk
    3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 large egg
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 cup chopped dried apples (about 3 ounces)

    Nonstick vegetable oil spray (or cupcake/muffin paper liners)

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix cereal, milk, applesauce, oil and egg in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes to soften bran.
    Stir flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Mix in chopped dried apples. Add dry ingredients to bran mixture and stir just until moistened.

    Spray twelve 1/3-cup muffin cups with vegetable oil spray. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until muffins are light golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack; cool completely.

    Per muffin: calories, 201; total fat, 6 g; saturated fat, 1 g; cholesterol, 27 mg.
    Makes 12.

    Hope these fit the bill.

  2. editing errors

    A student of mine is finding editing errors in Fever. Is there a place he can send them for changes in a future edition?

  3. Muffins

    Hi, Laurie Do they have to be healthy? I just made some really great chocolate chip/cherry ones and poppy seed. I think they go very well with a good book!
    Julie, a librarian from Michigan (I loved you at Kalamazoo!!)

  4. Re: editing errors

    Contact Simon & Schuster, editorial office. I don’t have the address right here, but it should be on the copyright page of the book.

    I have been trying to have several of those errors fixed for years. Maybe if they hear from enough people, they’ll do it. Good luck and congrats to your student!

  5. Re: Muffins

    Yeah, they have to be healthy. I’m weird like that. But think of me while you eat your delicious-sounding ones… in fact, go ahead and post the recipes if you’d like. That way someone with a higher metabolism than me will enjoy them.

    I had so much fun in Kalamazoo. Thanks for calling up great memories!

  6. I hate that stage. That’s why I stick to writing poetry, essays and short stories, because although it is not possible to stay awake for 1000 hours, it is possible to stay awake for 100. Oh I know, so not healthy, but sometimes I just can’t stop.

  7. Cranberry-Citrus Muffins
    Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 33 minutes.

    1 1/2 cups chopped cranberries
    2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large egg whites
    1 (8-ounce) carton vanilla low-fat yogurt
    1 large egg
     Cooking spray
    1 1/2 teaspoons turbinado sugar or granulated sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 375°.
    2. Combine cranberries and 2 tablespoons flour, tossing gently; set aside.
    3. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together oil and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a medium bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture; add oil mixture, stirring just until flour mixture is moist. Fold in cranberry mixture. Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle sugar evenly over muffins. Bake at 375° for 33 minutes.
    4. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and place on a wire rack.
    Yield: 1 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)
    CALORIES 238; FAT 10g (sat 2g,mono 2g,poly 5g); PROTEIN 4g; CHOLESTEROL 19mg; CALCIUM 97mg; SODIUM 186mg; FIBER 1g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33g

  8. another…

    High Protein Muffins

    2 1/2 cups bran flakes
    1 1/2 cups raisins
    1 3/4 cups milk
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 cup quick-cooking oats
    1 cup wheat germ
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    4 large eggs, beaten
    2/3 cup honey
    2/3 cup vegetable oil
    1/4 cup dark molasses

    1. Combine bran flakes, raisins, and milk in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
    2. In a bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, quick cooking oats (uncooked), wheat germ, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.
    3. Combine beaten eggs, honey, oil, and dark molasses in a small bowl; blend well. Add egg mixture to bran flake mixture and mix well. Add dry ingredients all at once to bran mixture, stirring just enough to moisten. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tins, filling each cup two-thirds full.
    4. Bake in 350*F oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Let completely cool. Makes 2 dozen muffins.

  9. MUFFINS!!!

    Muffins are the instant mood-boosters. Once my friends and I ate like 24 in one night. We. Were. So. Hyper.

    I’m re-reading Speak since the last time I read it was in 9th grade. I almost forgot how much I love it. I really can’t wait for Twisted.

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