Gone Writing

by Marinka on October 2, 2012

Things that are going through my head (in addition to the  normal circulation of blood and brain matter, obviously.)

I should post something on my blog about how I will be posting less because I want to be working on my memoir about how my family and I immigrated from the Soviet Union.  Damn it. Emigrated.  Emigrated from, immigrated to.  Shouldn’t I know this by now?

Back to the blog.  I should probably call it the Third Annual I am Working on My Manuscript post, so people can feel nostalgic for the first few times I’d done it.

Why don’t I just not post anything and work on my manuscript about how I am my family emigrated from the Soviet Union and started our lives in the United States.

Wait, is it our lives or our life?

I think it’s our lives because Mama, Papa and I are three distinct and different people and we have three lives among us.

On the other hand, it may be our life, because I am writing about our joint life in the United States, the whole Immigrant Experience. And maybe the Emigrant experience.

Hey, maybe this lives vs. life business can be the subject of an I’m Right, You’re Wrong post where I argue with myself.

Yes, that’s normal and not at all what leads to institutionalization.

God, I hate the GOP.

I will work on my manuscript. I gave myself until the end of this year to finish a first draft and the year is two thirds done and I’m only one third done writing.

Wait. I think I’m one of those people who works best under pressure.

Yes, I must be.

So  maybe October is too early to resume writing because it won’t be my best work.  If I really work best under pressure, I should wait until mid-December and then just tear through it. Like …like some other writer who wrote in marathon stretches.

But what if it doesn’t work? I usually get the sniffles in December and need to take to my bed and watch Law & Order.  By the way for years I thought that Special Victims Unit was my favorite Law & Order but now I think it’s Criminal Intent. I wonder if it’s possible to reschedule my illness until January.

I don’t know, this sounds risky. I should probably just work on the masterpiece now.

I will post something on my blog explaining that I won’t be posting as often but it’s only because I will be working on my manuscript.

Wait, manuscript or masterpiece?

How can I possibly work on it if I don’t even know what it’s called?

I need to have this room repainted.

Repainted with my blood.  Maybe I should start taking blood thinners so it’ll be a pale pink color.

Is that how blood thinners work? Why would they make my blood pink? Maybe I need to take paint thinners. Or ass thinners.

Ok, after I finish my masterscript I’ll think about painting.

Unless a freshly painted room would be motivational or something.

Oh,  that can’t possibly be it.  That’s crazy. What am I, high on fumes already?

Ha ha, remember when I wrote a lot of my manuscript and didn’t back it up and them my laptop crashed and I lost everything. That sucked.

And you’d think that I learned my lesson, but not really.

Well sort of. I still can’t back up because I can’t figure out where the fuck to back up. I put it on one of those drives they give you at conferences but  I don’t know. Then I can never find them.

Virginia Woolf is right, I need a room of my own. This writing at the kitchen table isn’t working for me.

Although it is close to the snacks.


Ok, so I will still blog, but not as often, and I will work on my manuscript every day.

Unless a lot of bloggable things happen in which case I will update on an as-needed-basis, hourly, if necessary.

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October 2, 2012 at 7:14 am

I am rooting for you!

Can I suggest joining NaNoWriMo in November if you haven’t tried it yet? (http://www.nanowrimo.org/)? The problem with first drafts is that everyone expects them to come out perfect, and they never do. NaNoWriMo combats that and basically says, just sit your ass down and write. At the end of the month you have 50k words which you can then edit. Add that on to your other third of a memoir and you’re probably 80% there. I’m probably going to be doing it if I’m not past 60k by the end of the month.


October 2, 2012 at 7:18 am

P.S. Re: backup. I do all my writing first by hand, then on Evernote. Synched automatically, have it anywhere you go, 0% chance of backup loss. If you’re still worried, you can backup Evernote locally to Word.


Marinka October 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

BY HAND? You are so lucky to have hands. Will look into Evernote. Thanks!


Marinka October 2, 2012 at 7:47 am

I love the idea of NaNoWriMo, but can’t I do it any other month too? And do you have to upload to their site? Because as you may have heard through eavesdropping government channels, I have way too much paranoia for that.


October 2, 2012 at 8:00 am

You can do it any other month, but the whole idea is that thousands of other people are doing it at the same time, which gives you added motivation to get your wordcount up every day. You only upload it at the end to get the official count, but you don’t even have to do that. You can just stop on Nov. 3o and count up what you have yourself. It really helped me last time I did it. Because everyone is writing a better novel than me and I have to beat them.


christy October 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

You crack me up! AND – I can’t wait to read your masterpiece. Seriously.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes October 2, 2012 at 9:11 am

You really should have your book ready by December so that it can be a n°1 item on every women’s gift list.


Marinka October 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

OMG, how did you do that little circle before the 1?!


October 2, 2012 at 9:35 am

You are hilarious. I think this post moved you into my top five list of people I don’t know but would love to have drinks with. Hurry and write! No pressure.


Carpool Goddess October 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

Struggling with my own writers block. Adult ADD must have set in. Anything that moves or sparkles and my mind is elsewhere.


Megan October 2, 2012 at 10:58 am

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me…


Shannon October 2, 2012 at 11:10 am

Three things:
1. SVU is the best Law and Order, but not as good as Criminal Minds.
2.Snacks are always my downfall.
3. I can’t wait to read your book/manuscript/masterpiece!


Marinka October 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I don’t think you’re being fair to Criminal Intent.


Loukia October 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

Just don’t go away for long periods of time. I miss you. I want to have lunch with again in Saks. I need an excuse for another day trip to NYC…


deb October 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

sounds like you’ve got this writing thing down.


October 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Oh, please don’t stop happening, bloggable things.


Alexandra October 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm

BEST post ever on the writing process.

Better than Step One: apply ass to chair.

What can I do to help? Selfishly, of course, b/c I want this book to happen.



October 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I feel this way about my book all the time. Also about my inability to do an axel. If I would just START working on it every day instead of reading about how my friends are also writing books and training for the Olympics, I could probably get one or the other of them accomplished. Someday.

I think one of the reasons you aren’t getting much writing done is that you aren’t scheduling in enough snack breaks. I take those ALL the time. They totally help. (Or not.)

PS Emigrate = exit (both start with “e”); immigrate = come Into (note the handy “i”). That’s the only way I can remember.


the mama bird diaries
October 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Inspired by these comments, I am going to start blogging by hand!


Steph October 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

Good luck on your manupiece/masterscript! If you find any a@@thinners, please post where!


Anna Lefler
October 3, 2012 at 9:00 am

I love that we have the same creative process.

Oh, and you’ll need 47 blood thinners. (Maybe 48.)



P.S. Cheering for you!


annie October 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

You know what a lot of writers do? They escape to a remote cabin in the woods to write. I know just the place and if you give it just a little time, the bears will be hibernating! Ill deliver supplies if I get to read it first.


October 3, 2012 at 10:05 am

I love that your mind wanders more than mine. Hopefully your mind will wander toward manuscript/masterpiece completion!


I'mateacher October 3, 2012 at 11:04 am

Hey Marinka,
I teach 6th grade science and I use this trick to help my students remember the difference between immigration and emigration: Immigration is when an organism moves Into a population. Emigration is when an organism Exits a population.
I hope that helps! 🙂


The Flying Chalupa
October 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

You. Can. Do. It! That was me being super motivational – even more motivational than a newly painted room! Maybe. Or not really. But I really want you to finish this masterpiece!


Lisa Rae @ smacksy October 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm

If you’re not blogging, what am I supposed to read during my “writing” time?


Olga October 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm


Your post reminds me of what happens to me when I sit myself down to meditate -;)

(Not that that happens often)

I listened to a webinar recently that has, so far, been very helpful. The suggestion is that you start each day with the writing that you need to have done. And then, everything you do in addition to that is the icing on the cake.

So let your “work” day begin with an hour or two of writing. Turn off email, facebook, etc. And work on your blog after. I’ve noticed that this routine has made me more productive with both types of writing.


dusty earth mother October 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

That’s the best “free association” post I’ve ever read.


Hope October 4, 2012 at 11:12 am

I will still check here at least once a week. I’m writing a book, too. Good luck to us!
Back-up to an external hard drive, or try Dropbox.


Lady Jennie October 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

My current novel is in the folder entitled “Final Attempt.”

True story.


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