Monday, February 21, 2011

The Dangers of Trigger Finger... And Other Seemingly Random Dribble...

I sent a query! I had it all planned out neatly. Of course, I've rewritten the thing several thousand times already. Then my sister, code name Fenris, read it. And I changed it a few more times. Then she read the ten pages that went with the query. And I changed that a few times. This was on top of some changes I made to the ten pages (that turned out AWESOMELY) at the suggestion of Christi. Thank you Christi! Fenris noticed those changes (most of them) immediately and loved them. Anyway, so I had all of this neatly plotted out and lined up and sitting pretty in the 'compose mail' section of my email. But I intended to read it all just one more time. You know, for good measure. Just in case... And then my index finger had a seizure. Or a spasm. Or maybe it was like a fart in the bloodstream. I don't know. Whatever it was, my finger hit the enter key, and since the cursor was hovering over 'send' (cause I'd tried to send the stupid query about three times already) the thing sent. Even though I wasn't ready to send it. Although I WAS ready. I just wasn't ready ready. Sooo I squealed like a pig in the slaughter chute, as if the noise and writhing might somehow be useful and it wasn't useful at all, just disturbing to everyone around me who thought that something was, you know, ACTUALLY wrong. Which, of course, it wasn't because I'd already made everything as good as it could be. The only part of the process that wasn't ready, was me. Funny how that works.

Christi (yes, I intend to hire her to go everywhere with me because she's so smart, and, well, she makes me feel smart by sharing her smartness with me) gave me the advice that in the future, I should leave the address box empty until the very last thing. That way I can play all I want with things and they can't go anywhere because I haven't told them where to go yet. I learn a lot of stuff by the hardest. This won't be one of those lessons. Next time, I'm leaving the 'where to' until last.

But, all of this momentary drama got me thinking. That and a comment left by my very good longtime friend, code name Perryn, on my Facebok status when I blathered about my trigger finger. Perryn's comment read: 'Maybe your finger is just smarter than you are. Maybe it got sick of waiting for you.' He might have something there. Maybe my finger was smarter than I was. It was those fingers that scratched out the first line to Evernow. The one line in the entire book that I promise has never been changed. The one line that several established authors have laughed at and loved. I didn't think about that line. I just felt it and my fingers wrote it. Maybe sometimes your fingers know better than you do. Maybe all you have to do is let them write whatever they want instead of whatever you THINK you should write. It's easy to get caught up in editing and editing is a good thing. But you can't edit something if you don't have enough of it to edit. After all, editing is sort of like debriding a burn. But first you have to have enough tissue - both damaged and undamaged - in order to be able to cut away the bad stuff so you can find the good stuff.

So the next time your fingers have an urge to write something, even if your head is telling you not to write anything that's not perfect, ignore your brain. Brains are overrated. Unless you're a zombie and then it's another matter entirely... But I digress. Let your insides decide what to write and let your fingers give it life. You can always trim the fat later.


  1. This is a great lesson--when you're ready, you're ready! I've gotten to the point with queries where I might not have the most confidence that a particular agent will like it, but it's been done to the best of my ability at the time and it just needs to go out in the world. I've fed it, nurtured it, tried to put up with its adolescent angst, and after a certain amount of living with it, I'm ready to kick it out the door (but still nervous that I didn't prepare it enough for the big, bad world). Loved this post!

  2. Yep; sometimes the fingers have our best interest at heart. I hover over that "send" button frequently when sending a rare query for my tilogy.

    Not long ago I tried to "retrain" my fingers to learn something new. I have a username and password for a program at work that is unique from all others. I can tell you honestly that I don't alway remember the configuration. But, if I just relax, not think too hard, and let my fingers do their job, both username and password miraculously appear in the appropriate way to open the program.

    well, I decided to make the user and password the same as all the other programs. After three weeks of constant battle with my trained fingers, I relinquished control and put everything back to "their" ingrained memory.

    Life is so smoothe now.

    I'm sure you fingers knew what they were doing.

    Good luck on the query.


  3. Thanks for the link love!

    Christi Corbett

  4. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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