Art Imitating Life

Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia

This blog (and the subsequent 283-day tweet plan) is the confluence of three events:

  1. Receiving a proof copy of my new novel, Ere I Saw Elba
  2. Seeing Julie & Julia
  3. Yesterday’s blog post: Proofing the Proof

I have no qualms about my tweet plan coming Hollywood’s latest chick flick. In Julie & Julia, when actress Amy Adams portrays Julie Powell‘s reasons for blogging all 524 of Julia Child‘s Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipes in 265 days, she pontificates about the need for a deadline and a regimen. I so get this. I’m a big believer in conjoining a deadline with a regimen.

Take this blog. To get it started, I committed to a weekly deadline. Soon after, I posted a blog called Top 10s that laid out a regimen for my next twenty blog posts (one of which was a blog on self-imposed deadlines).

In similar fashion, I’m attempting another deadline-constrained regimenone that involves an activity that I despise: editing. Yesterday, I posted a blog called Proofing the Proof. In it, I confessed that I had no time or inclination to proof my proof copy of Ere I Saw Elba. Furthermore, I used the cop-out that since I published Ere I Saw Elba via a POD press, I could always go back and republish it if ever I found an error annoying enough to do so. Earlier this year, when I did this with my previous novel, Able Was I, I wished that I’d tackled a full reedit and made a detailed list of all the nits I wanted to fix, no matter how small. Why didn’t I do thisespecially since I was already commiting the time, effort and expense of republishing? Because editing a book that you published three years prior is tantamount to self-inflicted waterboarding.

Why not divide such a daunting task into small chunks? Why not edit one page at a time? To do something as tedious as this, I would most definitely need both a deadline and a regimen. Thus, my yearlong tween plan.

I’ve decided to reedit Ere I Saw Elba, one page a day for 283 days. A year from now (like Julie, I’m cutting myself some slack and extending this deadline to a year so I can skip a day or two here and there), I’ll have a list of desired editorial changes . I will then decide if this list is sufficient for me to pay another republishing set-up fee (given how annoyed I am with the spine issue that I mentioned in Proofing the Proof, I’m already quite certain of my decision).

Finally, and to the point of this blog’s title, each day I’ll tweet about whatever the page I’m editing evokes. Given my propensity for analysis, I can only imagine that I will compare the happenings in my novel to those in my life. And since the forecast for my next year is chock full of impending drama, I’ll be curious to see how my novel parallels reality. While this five-minute-a-day yearlong experient isn’t quite as ambitious as Julie Powell’s, I’ll at least get a republishing edit out of it.


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