Writing work check-up

On January 5, 2015, I wrote a short writing to-do list for the coming few months. Today, since it’s almost the end of January, is a good time to take stock.


I’m pleased to report that I’m moving right along on my novel revisions. I’ve incorporated my red lines and yellow highlights into my online Revision 4 chapter files up to page 124. That means I have only 54 single-spaced hard-copy pages to go. Of course that doesn’t mean that I’m finished finished. As I’ve revised I’ve tagged many many pages that I need to go back to. Like yesterday for instance. I was working on Chapter Seventeen which required that I add a new subsection at the chapter’s end. I wrote it. I stepped back from it, I thought about how John Updike writes incredibly detailed descriptions, and I realized I wrote only the bare bones so far. I need to go back to that little subsection and add and add and add more. Remember the old adage – show don’t tell? Well my bare bones only tell. I haven’t written the scene that shows the entire picture yet.

My to do list also includes keeping up with my blog and guest website posts. I feel I’m doing pretty well with that. However, my poetry is lagging behind. I haven’t submitted anything since last year, and I’ve hardly written any new poems. This nags on me. Yet, I rationalize that my novel comes first. Once I’ve created a Revision 4 that I’m happy with and can send off to a second round of beta readers, I’ll have plenty of time to write poems. A good rationalization, right?

inversion machine

Here’s a little poem I wrote a while ago in response Robert Lee Brewer‘s prompt to write an upside down poem.

Hanging Out

I lean my legs against
the leather cushions,
grab hold of the side handles,
and hoist my body forward
until I end up
upside down.

I stay there to the count
of thirty
and then move myself
upright again.
After a few breaths
I do it all over again.

They say the upside down position
will help cure my tinnitus.
So far, it hasn’t worked.


  1. I’m one of those writers who believes the real writing occurs in the rewriting stage. So… I’m glad you are enjoying the process. Also…

    Writing project are like housework or laundry… there’s always more to do—as soon as you think you are finished you find there is more to do.

    I guess that might be what some writers might consider the fun part!

    • Madeline Sharples says:

      You are so right, Denis. I’m finding that out more and more as I rewrite. Although the rewriting can be fun, it is still a lot of never-ending work.

  2. Madeline, I agree with Denis’s comments on rewriting being more of the writing than we’re aware and also like laundry and housework, forever multiplying. Enjoyed your poem!

    • Madeline Sharples says:

      Thanks so much, Sherrey. Yes, the work keeps multiplying. I think before I’m finished I’ll have rewritten every word.

  3. I love that quotation about writers never having a vacation. So, so true! All your diligent work will be evident in your finished product and you’ll deserve the great reviews it’s going to get.

    • Madeline Sharples says:

      Sharon, I really appreciate your confidence in my finished product. Right now I’m feeling very shaky about it. Your kind words will go a long way to help.
      Yes, it is a wonderful quote…

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