After spending the past week packing, and this last week moving into my new house and unpacking, I haven’t had much free time to do anything. But as I was getting ready for work this morning, digging through a box to find my work clothes, I thought about how much I really could relate moving to writing a novel and found my perfect blog post.
1.) You take everything that you know and love and pack it into tiny boxes
When moving , it’s obvious that you have to take everything in your house and put it into boxes to get into the new house. Well, it’s kind of like that when you write a novel. Think about it. I’m a science fiction, romance, YA lover and thought “hey why don’t I pack all of those things that I know about myself and really like and pack them into a novel?” Then as the plotting (or pantsing as I do) begins, you learn to pack all of those things that you love into the novel.
2.) You unpack and re-organize your life
Yeah some of it may not make sense at first (dog bones next to my wine glasses? An alien falling in love with a human?) But that’s where the unpacking and reorganizing comes in handy. With a novel, you do this by revising and editing. You take all of those things that you crammed into the first draft and realize where they really need to go in the story, what you need to add (or run out to Target and buy at 9 o’clock at night), and even though it’s a long and drawn out process once it’s finished and everything’s put away you actually feel pretty good about it.
3.) Deciding between using friends and professionals
Some people hire professional movers that will pack up their boxes, load them in a truck, and unpack them in their house for them. Others round up whatever friends they can get to load up their furniture, maybe get a few dings in the wall, and buy them pizza for their troubles. I can relate this to choosing who you’re going to help to finish that novel. Are you going to use your friends and family as beta readers or hire a freelance editor? Maybe you could even equate this to going with an agent or using a small press. There are many ways that this can be spun, and I’ve spun them all.
4.) Sometimes you just feel like giving up.
After spending hours moving boxes around, all you want to do is just lay there and live with your life in packed boxes. But at one point you realize that you can’t live with everything in boxes and need to start putting things away and ultimately feel better once you do. With writing, I know how many times I’ve just wanted to quit. Just stop working on my manuscript because it’s too hard to come up with an entire alien race. But part of me realizes that I can’t live with my clothes in boxes forever and I can’t live with my manuscript sitting in unfinished pieces on my computer.
5.) You want to show the whole world…only if it’s unpacked.
I’ve been so excited to tell everyone that I have a new house, but when people want to see it…well that’s another story. It’s the same with your novel. You may tell the world that you finished it, or even just your first draft, but when someone wants to see it you choke up. It’s not finished yet, what if they see the errors? Or even worse, what if they hate it? That’s kind of where number four comes in and you realize that you just need to push ahead and unpack those boxes (finish that manuscript), so you can show it to the world.
Those are the reasons that stick out in my head right now. Maybe I could think of more if I didn’t spend all weekend unpacking, or eat a very huge lunch at Olive Garden, or have massive pregnancy brain. But how can you relate moving to writing? Is there anything that you equate writing to? Do I just sound like a crazy loon?