Thursday, September 14, 2006


I worked for quite a while this afternoon on a half decent post about routines and superstitions. It's gone now - drowned in the depth of cyberspace and mostly gone from my mind. I'll try to recapture some of it (pouting).

What do you have to do before you can write? I don't mean looking over the previous days progress either. Does your coffee cup have to be in the exact same spot? Do you have a routine you go through first - checking email, blog reading, household chores, or doesn't it matter what you do at the beginning of your writing day?

What about your submission process? Is it always the same? When you go to the post office, does it matter which postal worker you get? And then after - after you've recovered from the huge hole in your stomach that arrived as you were leaving the post office - what do you do? Celebrate? And if so, is it always the same? Does it matter, or does it have to be the same?

I guess I have a routine - not set in stone by any means. And it depends on the day and how much time I've had before rushing the kids to school. Sometimes I don't have time to clear the debris from the morning feeding frenzy. Sometimes I come home with the initial "must do" chores already finished and can go right to work. Not that I usually do. Email always gets checked - even if I've had time to do it before the kids leave.

For submissions I'm a little on the freaky side. The desk and table have to be clean. I babysit the printer, but that's more to keep the pages from falling to the floor. Things have to be a certain way for me to feel confident. I'm not too particular about which postal person processess my submission, but I like to get the ones who understand how important the package is to me. I always have a moment of panic once I get back into the car. I want to (but have never, ever done it) go back in and demand my package back to "just make sure everything is there". I call B and he talks me down.

And then we celebrate a little. We pull down my special glasses and find something interesting to put inside. This is usually accompanied by some discussion about how cool it would be if this time was it. I have to admit though, I seem to have lost some of the desire to talk about that - I guess constant rejection will do that to a person. I don't want to lose the celebration though because that's important. The accomplishment deserves to be recognized and toasted. There should be hope. Truthfully, I think the hope is there - it's just buried under fear. If the hope was gone, this whole thing would be pointless. Right?

So, do you have a routine or is it more obsession? Tell me I'm not alone in the odd things that I seem to do, especially when I submit.

(In other news...K3 had his eye recheck today and all is well. K2 got a call back for auditions for the fall play. She's there right now and I'm nervously waiting for her call.)


Shawna Moore said...

Hey Vicky!

Here's to routines in writing. Without a doubt, I'm basically a creature of habit when it comes to a writing day :) Spit spat, everything in its place, just like Mary Poppins LOL You aren't alone. If something's out of sync with my workspace, it definitely affects my productivity.

A cyber toast to that real-life hero of yours who's at your side when life's stressors are swirling around :)

Cheers for K2! May the world always be her stage :)

Best wishes always,

Shawna Moore

Natalie Damschroder said...

V, I think you've got a great balance going on. Definitely keep celebrating the submissions.

I understand the waning desire to think about "if this is it." I can't imagine being excited about selling anymore. After this many years, and that many's anticlimactic to think about.

Re: routines...not really. I need tea in the morning, but other than that, the more I add to my pre-writing activity, the slower I am to write!

d.r. grady said...

Writing routine? Butt in chair, computer opened to a Word document, hopefully the WIP, and not Solataire... (:

No submission routine. I just get them out and forget about them until the rejections roll in. I don't go crazy until someone wants to see more. (: