Sunday, May 06, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go

This morning will be the last Monday appointment in my realty saga: I'm closing on my house today! Funny thing about selling houses... you work so hard to get it on the market. Keep it pretty while strangers invade it with prying eyes. Then do the dance of joy when it sells (or in my case, stand stunned while the real estate agent is thrilled at how little work she had to do to earn her 6%). You think the hard part is over. The End is near...

Oh no. The work is just beginning! Now you prepare for the inspection. Do the requested repairs. Prepare for the appraisal. Breathe a sigh of relief when it comes in at the right price. Stay at home for the termite inspection. Thank God we don't have any pesky critters! Then the real work starts... You MOVE! :)

I thought the lower half of my body would quit functioning last week. Every morning I woke up, creeping out of bed like a little old lady. Now, keep in mind, I'm a writer (both in my day job and dream job). Writers are essentially sedentary while they work. The only exercise I get is when I force myself to follow along to my Walk Away the Pounds videos or hauling around my two-year-old. I'm not made to pack and heft boxes. So the muscles in my jelly thighs and overworked calves protested with a mighty roar.

It reminded me of a similar experience in my writing life. Okay, not the jelly thighs, but still... As writers, we push and work to reach the goal—to write The End. We celebrate with chocolate and intense satisfaction when we type those lovely words. They symbolize such an accomplishment. One that we SHOULD revel in and value. But they are just the beginning of the work. Now our book must be revised, reworked, submitted, revised again, etc... The real work is just beginning. And it never ends.

What I'm learning from my published friends is that even selling doesn't end the work, because then there are editor requested revisions, copy edits, forms to fill out, and promotion that needs to be done. And all while working on the next book.

The work doesn't end. So we sure as heck better enjoy parts of it! Unlike the pain of packing up and spending days trying to figure out where I put the file folders, I have the joy of dreaming up new characters, seeing them come to life from my imagination to the page, and, yes, writing The End again and again. I'd rather do that than move any day of the week. :)

So how do you revise? Do you do it throughout the book or after The End? What are your pet peeves about the revision process? When does it end for you (or does it ever end)?


P.S. I'm in a REALLY good mood, because on top of closing on my house today, I enjoyed a fabu luncheon this weekend AND finally received my passport after 13 weeks of waiting. I can now legally go to Scotland with the Playfriends!

So I'm passing along a prize to one commenter today. If you aren't a writer, just introduce yourself or tell me your own real estate story. Problem Child will announce the winner tomorrow!


Theresa N. said...

Congratulations on selling your house!! It's tough in this market,
my daughters had her house on the market since November. No takers yet.

Problem Child said...

I do most of my revising along the way--only if there's a major change will I end up doing a big revision at the end.

I'm just looking forward to getting to the end on this book sometime soon.

Playground Monitor said...

I do the first draft in longhand and in order to keep the flow going, I just write and write and write. Then when I do my first edits and revisions as I type it into the computer. Once that's done, I print a copy edit/revise again if necessary from this hard copy.

Yay on the sale! There are houses on my street that have been empty for months and months -- going on a year for one.


Instigator said...

I'm always revising :-) Even during my revisions I'm revising. I make notes in my head about things I need to go back and fix in previous chapters. At the moment I'm amazed I can keep that list straight :-)


Kathy said...

I write. Reread. Rewrite. Reread. Rewrite. Try to write. Reread. Rewrite. See the pattern?

The problem is writing in spirts because I've overextended myself doing other things. (Ya'll know how hard that is for me.) When I finally get back to writing, I then have to remind myself what I've written. But the good news is when I'm not writing, I'm figuring out what's going on, what I need to fix, how I need to say it or write it better, which helps the story as I go along. The down side tends to slow the process. So I'm training myself to write through the story, then go back. (Thanks to my friends advice :-) And that seems to be working much better for me.

Moves? I've moved every 3 years of my life until the past 10 years. Once my couch arrived on the back of an open trailer with one arm dangling off to the side. Once an entire box of my stuff disappeared (I was a teenager and my bathingsuit was most treasured. Oh, the trauma!). Once 2 of my heirloom furniture pieces were damaged. One house we put on the market NEVER sold and we still own it, so feel greatly privelaged, Angel and SP. One house sold within 1 week. Moving is hard but it's an adventure. Once settled, you will be happy you moved.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a writer but I've got a real estate story for you.

September 2001...My husband and I purchased 5 acres to put our manufactured home on so we could move out of the trailer park we were living in. We spent the rest of September and all of October clearing trees and brush so thick you couldn't see two feet in front of you. Anyway by husband, myself and 2 kids were staying at my parents until we could get our trailer moved once we cleared the pad. Late November we finally got it moved,plumbing and electrical hocked up. Next day we are watching a weather report a tornadoe has reached the ground on Claire Lane (the street we just moved to), authorities are asking people to avoid the area the entire street has been leveled. Long story short my trailer and those menacing thick trees was the only thing left standing on the entire road.


kim h said...

that is great. not a writer or buy real estate

Maureen said...

Congratulations on selling your home. When we bought our house the mortgage company had approved our mortgage for the amount we needed but someone transposed some numbers so the check amount was wrong (and of course it was too little). So we had to postpone the closing for a couple of days for them to get the right amount on the check.

anne said...

We bought this adorable home that we fell in love with. Older but charming and sweet. The man who sold it to us seemed very honest and was, but a short time later we found out that he had owned the home for 4 months only and had been in arrears with the mortgage for the entire time.

diane said...

When we bought our son's home for him, since he was a med student, we bought it from a young woman who had lived there and then had rented it out briefly. she just wanted to get rid of it. The house was a little jewel. After we bought this house the market went sky high.

alissa said...

When we left our home forever, it didn't bother me but it had been up for 6 months with not a bite. The market was sluggish at that time, unfortunately. It took a year for it to sell and we were living in another country. Since the market has swings and changes our house has subsequently been sold twice and the price went way up. We settled for way less at the time due to circumstances. Now we are sitting in a great situation where our locale is an envy of most.

Angel said...

Well, its done! Finally. Just waiting for his mortgage company to cut the checks and our real estate agent will bring them to us this evening. Thanks goodness!

Now I can settle into settling in. :) So many real estate stories! It's an adventure, isn't it? Oh, Sassy, you have me worried now. My mother is currently clearing land for a trailer with her new husband. I'm just praying everything will go smoothly for them. Of course, they live in Florida and don't have to worry as much about tornadoes as we do here in AL.

Kimberly L said...

Congrats on the house and passport. You are so lucky. Wish I were getting to go to Scotland.
I'm also not a writer. Just a reader.

KimW said...

Reader here

Congratulations on selling your home! I hope the closing went smoothly.

Smarty Pants said...

I scheduled by appraisal for tomorrow and my wood insect inspection for Monday. Woo hoo. Can't wait for this to be over.

On the plus side, the new house is drywalled, textured, painted and has trimwork like baseboards up already. The cabinets were in the garage in boxes!

Angel said...

Awesome, SP! I'm definitely betting on you being in that house early! Thanks to everyone for their well wishes today. Now I'm off to rest my foot while I write for a little while. Unfortunately, it will be business writing tonight. But at least it pays. :)

Pat L. said...

Good luck with the move.

My real estate story was nothing to speak of - we were living in an upstairs apt and landlord decided to move back, kick us out and move into our space while keeping her other tentant who lived downstairs and who was not there as long as we were. At the time we were not happy, but it prompted us to find our home.