M. Giant's
Velcrometer
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks


Sunday, September 02, 2007  

30

I've never understood people who run because they like it (not counting my son, of course, who burns off excess energy by doing laps between the kitchen and the living room). I can see doing it to get in shape, or to challenge yourself to do something hard for the sake of the challenge, but running for fun pretty much ended for me in eight-grade track. I will say that it feels good when you stop.

In related news, this weekend is the official due date to submit the manuscript for my book. Technically, the contract says September 1. But that was drafted and signed months ago, before anybody bothered to check that September 1 was a Saturday. So a couple of weeks ago, I e-mailed my editor to ask if she actually needed it before September 1, or if I could be a weasel and take the Labor Day weekend to finish up. She said that was fine, and in fact, she would be out of the office on Tuesday, so I could even have until Wednesday if I wanted.

So then on Friday I finished.

This has been the biggest, hardest writing project I've ever done, and I'm including in that a five-act play in period iambic pentameter. It's about the equivalent of a thousand blog entries, or a hundred recaps, or one really long-ass book that I really wasn't as prepared to write as I thought I was. There've been times when I wasn't sure I was going to make it, when I was glad we have enough in the bank to give back the advance if I needed to, when I wondered what it would take for me to get another few months to work on it. Now that's all over.

Okay, not all over. There are going to be plenty of revisions, I'm sure, and then galley proofing, and then, God willing, maybe some marketing stuff to do. Oh, and I suppose I still need to send it to my editor, technically.

But right now none of that compares to the fact that whenever I'm doing something else -- playing with M. Small, or hanging out with Trash, or blogging, or recapping, or eating, or sleeping, or working -- I don't have to deal any more with that guilty feeling telling me that I should really be working on the book. That same feeling that has been bugging me since I got the deal last November. The same feeling that can shut up now.

Even better, the end of Big Love coincided eerily with the manuscript due date, so aside from a couple of other small projects, I get to spend my evenings and weekends paying more attention to the family and home I've been neglecting so grievously. Well, that and see if I can still remember how to play Half-Life 2.

Don't worry, I know exactly how much of an asshole this makes me sound like. I know I'm lucky to have a book deal. I know I'm lucky to have a family that loves me and supports me. I know how lucky I am that Sars and Wing hired me to make fun of TV shows and that I still get to do it and now get checks for it with 30 Rock for a return address. I know how lucky I am that marvelous people like you regularly take a few minutes out of your busy weeks to see what I'm yammering about. I know I'm lucky that I get to be a writer at my day job, a goal that seemed almost unattainable (or at the very least, a great deal less lucrative) just a few years ago. I am one lucky asshole.

Writing is fun, and I wouldn't want to do anything else with my life (lacking the skills to be a rock star, of course). But it also feels good when you stop.

* * *

Will the good fortune never cease? Check this out:



It's an honor just to be nominated. Getting more votes would be an even greater honor. I'm just saying.

posted by M. Giant 8:33 PM 13 comments

13 Comments:

I even registered so I could vote. You ARE one lucky asshole.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 2, 2007 at 10:11 PM  

I also registered so I could vote. You are double the lucky asshole!

By Anonymous Randomlystrange, at September 3, 2007 at 8:09 AM  

Did you know that you are nominated for more than one award? I also registered just to vote for you, so consider yourself a three-time asshole.

By Anonymous Michelle, at September 3, 2007 at 8:41 AM  

I did the same thing.

And, congratulations on the guilt-free feeling! It was one of the best outcomes of defending my dissertation--even nine months later, I still occasionally marvel to myself, "I don't have to work on my dissertation today!" (And now I can read Velcrometer without feeling guilty, too!)

By Anonymous Katie L., at September 3, 2007 at 9:12 AM  

I also registered just so I could vote, but I don't feel comfortable calling you a quadrupal-lucky arsehole (I'm British) so I'll just say good luck :)

By Blogger L, at September 3, 2007 at 9:44 AM  

I so totally hear the guilt thing. I am an old hand at shaming myself about things that there is no need to shame myself for (which for that matter includes pretty much anything that I could possibly decide to feel bad about). And an old hand at working to let go of that, mostly through various twelve-step thingies.

Hm... it seems to be neither posting nor previewing my comment so I think I will try splitting it into smaller portions :)

By Blogger oakling, at September 3, 2007 at 11:31 AM  

Also:
What I love about stories like this is that next time, you REALLY get to know that there's no reason to shame yourself for playing with your kid or hanging out with your wife or having a life at all when you "should be writing your book," because hello: you totally finished on time. Even early. There was every reason for you to do all those other things anyway, but also? There was clearly no point at which you "shouldn't" have been doing them if you wanted to finish your book. Because you did!

By Blogger oakling, at September 3, 2007 at 11:32 AM  

Last of all:
I also think that it's awesome that you finished it (I can't wait to read it already, because yours is my favorite DHAK blog) AND awesome that you finished it without sacrificing playing with M. Small. Because there is practically nothing worse than having a kid or a parent or a self who holes up and ditches doing things with you because they have Work To Do. Balance is crucially important. At least that is what I am learning in Workaholics Anonymous. I am super-excited that there is something out there that can teach me how to get my shit done without sacrificing those things or tripping myself out about it anymore. So, that guilty feeling can just shut up FOREVER now!

By Blogger oakling, at September 3, 2007 at 11:32 AM  

I also registered just to vote. Um, that is, I registered to vote for you...

Congratulations on finishing the book! May the revision process be swift and painless, and may this be the tome to eventually knock those Deathly Hallows off the top of the bestseller list!

By Blogger Heather, at September 3, 2007 at 1:50 PM  

So happy for you for everything, including finishing the book. I also registered just to vote for you!! When your book comes out, I might even buy it instead of bugging my local library too so I can read it for free! Well,I might.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 4, 2007 at 5:29 PM  

When I saw the entry title, I thought for sure you were going to give us a recap of the new TV series called "30" which takes place in the mere 30 hours it took you to complete this book project. Just 6 hours more than Jack Bauer's show, you still managed to shoot 13 more people during the writing of your book than Jack did saving the country.

This project only took you 30 hours to complete, right? Don't worry, your secret is safe with me.

By Anonymous Chao, at September 5, 2007 at 7:48 AM  

Did you know that you're up for "Hottest Daddy Blogger" as well?

By Blogger Teslagrl, at September 5, 2007 at 9:04 AM  

You just got one more vote. Congratulations on finishing the book! That must be an awesome feeling.

By Blogger Nancy, at September 9, 2007 at 6:27 AM  

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