My experience as the first contestant of SSRA’s Traveling Butt Glue Challenge will surely . . . stick with me. Applying Butt Glue, sitting down to write on a regular basis whether in the mood or not is a must for us writers. Muses don’t like to be stood up.
With that bottle on my desk, I vowed to stick to my goal: write four hours a day, no Facebook, no phone, five days a week. I give you the story of my time with BG, replete with all the joy and angst that befits an epic journey. Or not.
(Disclaimer: As weeks go, this one was exceedingly tranquil: no family crises, no appointments, and nothing came up. We all know how unusual that is.)
Monday: Squirm Day
I sat down with the first draft of my Regency, ready to plan my rewrite, to re-plot and plan the path of my story. I intended to keep my pantster’s spontaneity but give myself a map to guide my way through. But once I began, it felt like I was starting with a blank page. Rough drafts are hard and I’d much rather rewrite.
I sat up straight and squared my shoulders. “This is my year,” I intoned (to the cat). “I can do this plotting thing.” I held the bottle of BG in my hand. “I am not alone. You are here, my beloved.”
I set the timer for 45 minutes. When it rang, I could get up for five minutes. The first hour went as planned. The second hour, I was like a 3rd grader the hour before summer vacation. I fidgeted, taunted the cat with paper clips and did anything but puzzle my plot on paper. It doesn’t take Sigmund Freud to analyze that it was fear of the unknown making me break my Butt Glue vows.
I eyed the bottle (BG, not booze) and took a deep breath, listened to the tick of the timer (brain-joltingly loud) and braved the unknown territory of my plot. “I will free it from the prison of my brain, to walk freely on the pages of my manuscript,” I vowed aloud.
At the end of the day, I’d met my goal. it was rocky, but epic journeys are like that.
Monday night I got an exciting email from an editor who’d been reading my historical. Everything changed. I barely slept that night.
My mental state could only be described as TWITTERPATING (nothing to do with my social media plan). I was over the moon encouraged. This editor said she liked my manuscript for the most part, but asked me if I’d be willing to rewrite it from 1st person to 3rd. Of course! We set a deadline of March 5. So Tuesday I read the story, imagining it in third person, and began revising after dinner. Inside I felt like Aunt Pittypat from Gone with the Wind. Heavens! This is huge! I can do this, but how? Mercy! I ransacked my closet in search of RWR magazine articles on Point of View, I burst out in song. I’d never gotten this close with an editor. This was huge!
Eventually, I settled down and had no problem sitting for an hour at a time, spending at least eight hours focusing on the story. I love to rewrite and joy! I could rewrite, concentrating on one aspect of the book. And there is nothing like a deadline.
Wednesday: Groove Day: I set the timer to keep myself on task and sailed through the pages, rewarding myself with ten minutes of music at the end of the 45 minutes. I far exceeded four hours that day, elated to be a romance writer.
Thursday: Side Effect Day: Butt glue does have some side effects: By the time I sat down in my old chair midmorning Thursday, my posterior discomfort reminded me of the deal I’d made with myself in 2012: sell a book, buy a chair. My husband had gallantly offered to buy me a new office chair, because, well, the application of butt glue had sprung the seat out. It was a nice offer, but I would wait. Until then . . . ouch. I met my six hour goal for the day, buns-a-blazing.
Friday: Off Day: I realized I hadn’t been out of the house since Saturday. Time for a break. Hey, there are people out there! Pretty things in stores and groceries!
Saturday: Hubby Day: I spent four hours on rewrites, playing some Basia and Michael Jackson for pep. The rest of the day was for my Husband.
That was my week of Butt Glue.
Remember, fellow Mermaids and Mermen, no matter what the week may bring, I think you’ll find that after a week of Butt Glue application, you will get into a routine groove and may even exceed your writing goal. One look at that bottle will encourage and/or shame you back on track.
I invite the next contestants to share their experiences on the blog. We’re all in this together.
She spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she is still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She has a degree in Human Services and worked as a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator and a stay-at-home mom.
Music has ruled Jennifer’s world since birth. She shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever, but soon fell in love with the lyrics, how the words fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. Jennifer has dreamt of writing romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and now lives that dream, using music on a daily basis to uplift and inspire her writing. It’s no coincidence that Ian, the hero in Mercy of the Moon, uses music to win heroine Maggie’s heart.
She lives in rural Florida with her husband and Great Dane puppy, and enjoys frequent visits from her three grandchildren and three grown children. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would really love to see her husband of thirty-five years in a pair. Jennifer can be found online at: JenniferTaylorWrites.com