Monday, January 14, 2013

Orange Jell-o, After Dinner Mints, and a Manuscript

Christmas Eve, circa 1989: Little Me was gorging herself on large helpings of orange Jell-o and handfuls of those pillowy pastel after dinner mints. Not an hour later, I was expunging every ounce of Christmas cheer I had inside my little body into the nearest toilet in the form of the stomach flu. I’ve never been able to even be in the same room with those two products since. Ugh, just writing this is giving me the shakes. 

Everyone’s been here. You’ve eaten something- Top Ramen, a chili-cheese dog, the lingering piece of iffy three-day-old pizza- and not a few hours later you are puking your guts out. And even if the food had nothing to do with your sickness, you’ll never be able to look at pizza the same again.

I had a bad reaction yesterday- and no, this had nothing to do with any type of minty confection or gelatin dessert. I tried reading through my manuscript, the one that has been accepted for publication, and...whoa. NOPE. I didn’t even make it through the first chapter. I couldn’t physically do it. 

It might be all the times I’ve gotten rejected in the past.  Every single time stomach-turning. It might be that I’ve already read the thing in its entirety at least 15 times (without hyperbole), which is enough to make anyone sick of anything. It might be that I have way too much anxiety wrapped up in waiting to see whether this thing is going to be a success or a flop… 

Is there an “all of the above” option somewhere?

So, I’m putting the re-read on pause for a bit to see if I get over my strange aversion. Maybe bask a little longer in the glory of my acceptance and not worry about trying to re-read my work for a 16th time for improvements just yet. 

And when I do need to re-read it when my editor gets back to me with her notes, I’ll be ready for it with fresh eyes and a iron stomach. And for good measure, I’ll try to have some Tums on-hand, and maybe…I don’t know…what’s the opposite of Jell-o?
Yep. Sounds about right. Doritos it is!   

What do you guys do when you just can't stomach your own work anymore???


  1. You are so funny. I know how you feel. It is hard to stare at your work too often. "Feel better" soon! Can't wait to see the finished product!

  2. Sounds like me! I always feel guilty when I take a break, but sometimes you need to!

  3. I do just what you're doing. I give it a rest. You can't see mistakes when it's still fresh need to let it rest for a while, then go back to it, to see the parts that really need fixed.

    Write something else in the meantime. READ something else. Give writing a total vacation....

    Crochet something. Paint. Sing. Anything but going back to it.

    You'll find you're so much fresher when you give it a break. It's not like it isn't already written. All you have to do with it in order to publish is polish it.