Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh no! I'm repainting again!

Dalton Diaz will tell you we first got to know each other over paint brushes. Fortunately, she did the cutting in and I did the easy part.

Recently, for some insane reason, I decided to paint the guest room by myself. My hubby's busy with work, so he bought me tools. Everything he could think of to make it easier. So, why am I still making a mess? I've hit the ceiling twice, and the idea of an accent wall is out since the adjoining walls are sporting the same dots of Pueblo Sand. Oh dear.

SO what does this have to do with writing? Ever had a manuscript with a couple of boos on the ceiling? Maybe something you thought would only need a tweak or two, but when you step back and look at it, suddenly you realize it needs to be completely revamped? Yup. Me too.

I had written 3/4 of a novella last year. When I was given some tight deadlines for other projects, I put it aside. Now I've finished all three novels (Yay!) so I'm going back to finish this novella. I have a new publishing target for it too.

I took a quick look at it and uh-oh. Here's a boo boo, there's a boo boo. Everywhere a boo boo. Have I improved that much or was I rushing to get it done? Like the painting job...

Yeah, I have a deadline for painting. My family reunion on Sept 5th. It's my turn to host. suddenly we're revamping the house like crazy. We replaced the horrible bright blue laminate counter tops in two of the bathrooms with granite and under-mount sinks. A better quality product. Gone are the bright brass light fixtures. Yesterday I bought a gorgeous new mirror to replace the builder grade plain one.

Back to writing...
My new publishing target seems to require a better quality finished product as well. That means I can't leave a weak streak here or a smudge there. Fortunately, I have time. I love not having deadlines. e-publishing is awesome in that way. I like taking my time and getting the details right.

But just like there comes a time when a room needs to be repainted, there also comes a time when career goals change. Is it scary? Of course. Deadlines were part of my accepting an advance. But I did it. And guess what? I met them...with a little time to spare.

And that's when I decided to pick up the paintbrush and roller. Dang. Well, I surprised myself with a project I was proud of coming in before deadline...maybe I'll be happy with the final result of our guest room.



Wynter Daniels said...

Good analogy. I've done the same thing - come back to an unfinished manuscript to find some glaring problems. But if I love the other stuff, it's always worth the time and effort to fix it.
Congrats on finishing 3 novels!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, Wynter.

I've finished other novels, but not a series of long ones. I'll miss my characters, but at least they all got an HEA before I had to leave them. Even the secondaries!


Desiree Holt said...

Excellent blog, Ash. I'm sitting here with what I thought were "minor" tweaks" and suddenly I have a paint roller in my hand!!!!! I'll be thinking of you while I'm doing this.

Jina Bacarr said...

Fun post, Ashlyn! And so true. Like looking a painting on the wall (I thought we'd keep the theme going), you need to step back and look at your career goals with a fresh eye.

To borrow the concept of Pointillism for a moment, only then do all the dots come together.

Christine H said...

I agree good analogy!! But I can't believe you've taken on a paint job all by yourself. That to me is always a two person job! I remember when Hubby and I painted the kitchen, I never would have finished it without him, when we got to the cabinet area I was ready to quit! lol

Let us know how the room turns out and what color your painting. The rest of the house sounds awesome. I love granite and hope to replace ours someday soon too. :)

Hugs, Christine

Ashlyn Chase said...

My daughter showed up and the room is still only one wall painted. But it looks great. I took care of the boo boos on teh ceiling. Guess what I used. Go on, guess. White out! Yup, my hubby will never know. LOL

Mai said...

Good luck with the painting the family reunion will be here before you know it =)

Dalton Diaz said...

I love your house! You should have said something earlier so I could return the favor. My first opportunity in what, 6 years?

I am going to help a friend paint tomorrow. I always thing of you, and paying it forward.

Savannah Stuart said...

Love your analogy! I've definitely had the same experience. One manuscript in particular comes to mind :) Fixing it was very time consuming but I'm hoping that in the long run it'll be worth it.

Congrats on meeting your deadlines!

Cara McKenna said...

Ooh, I love painting! If I'd known earlier, I'd have volunteered myself up as free labor. The smell of paint triggers something for me, turns me back into an overexcited twenty-year-old decorating her first bachelorette pad.

As for the shift from primarily e-pubbing to playing by more mainstream rules…I'm with you there. That journey has just begun for me. I subbed my first proposal a couple weeks ago (my would-be second Blaze), and if they decide to buy it [please please please] I'll be facing my first real writing deadline. I'm a quick reviser and self-editor under the gun, but writing? We'll see.

Congrats on rising to all your new challenges, Ash, and I wish you a streak- and spatter-free guest room!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, everyone.

Meghan, I totally wish you the best of luck with your proposal!

And for the rest of you who offered...I haven't finished yet. LOL

P.S. It'll probably be done by the end of today though.