I think I mentioned last week that I was under the weather, either due to a severe allergy or an awful cold. I think it was a cold, because I got a lot of people sick, evidently, including my writing compatriot Gail Gray. I decided this week, after kicking most of that crap out of my system, I'd try to give my body a few days to cleanse itself. I'm doing a "poor-man's" detox, and I'm cutting out all caffeine, processed sugar, meat, etc. Drinking lots of water, eating fruits and vegetables, trying my hand at some vegetarian cuisine - I even have some tofu marinating in the fridge for dinner tonight.
Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I said to myself, "Self," (I call myself Self) "You should put this in your blog. I'm sure you can relate it to writing somehow."
"I don't think so," I argued (I'm a contrary cuss, aren't I?). "It's just food, man, it doesn't have anything to do with writing."
I then told myself that everything relates to writing, in one form or another, at least for me. I decided to sleep on it and see if I could think of a way I could relate it, and if so, I'd blog about it today.
In the shower (where so many good ideas come, remember?) I realized that my writing can do with a little cleansing itself. Once I've finished the book and let it rest for a few weeks, I want to put it through the literary equivalent of a detox. Right now I'm just focusing on getting the impurities out of my system, mostly by drinking lots of water and fruit juice, while eating minimally. The things I do eat are super healthy - veggies, fruits, smoothies, etc. I want to do this with my manuscript. I will scrub it vigorously with grammar and syntax. I will clean away all the adverbs and cliches I can find. I'll make it as pure as I can - as sparkling as the MS can be.
It'll be hard, just like this week (or possibly two weeks, I haven't decided) is going to be. But it will be rewarding. Once I've finished my little detox project on myself, I'm sure I'll feel better. Things will have more elaborate tastes. Sleep will come easier. The sickness from last week will be entirely out of my system.
And the same will be true for my manuscript in early July; that's my goal, anyway. It's already good. Of course, so am I - but I can use improvement. Can't everything? So after the editing, after the "prose detox", it'll be cleaner, smoother, punchier. It will say exactly what I want it to say. And, most important of all, it'll be ready to run the gauntlet of querying and submitting to agents and publishers.
A difficult - but fun and rewarding - journey. On both counts. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted.