Writing Process Blog Tour: Some Word Barf About Word Barf

Last week, my friend Donna Trump, a lovely and talented writer I met in on of Vodo’s writing classes at The Loft a bajillion years ago asked me to take part in the Writing Process Blog Tour, which involves answering four questions about your current work in progress.

Before I perpetrate this fraud, you should just go read Donna’s answers because she is smart and thoughtful. I am a smartass and thoughtless. So you’ve been warned.

Question #1: What am I working on now?
This is where I admit to being a total fraud. Allegedly, I’m working on the second draft of a novel, that I call Rock & Roll Loudmouth. Is that the actual title? I don’t know. I really suck at titles & headlines, which you probably already know if you read I Will Dare ever. The first draft was called Bare Necessity because of this song from “The Jungle Book”.

Question #2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’m not sure if it has a genre or what its genre would be. It’s a rock & roll book written by a woman about a woman geared toward adults. It follows that old cliche about writing the book you want to read. I spend a lot of my time and effort seeking out books about rock & roll by women. It’s not easy. In fact it’s really ridiculously hard.

I’ve had great success with memoirs (Pat Benatar, Kristen Hersh, Heart), which is nice, but not so much with “grown-up” novels or essays. I use grown-up because I don’t know what we call the group of literature that’s not YA or Middle Grade. Is it just literature? You can find a lot of music in young adult novels, which I love, but often it’s written by men about young men. If you know any music-focused books written by women for young women, I would love to hear about them.

Question #3: Why do I write what I do?
Because I want to.

Question #4: How does my writing process work?
It doesn’t (see Question #1).

It works best when I’m vigilant about protecting my writing time. I haven’t been so good about that lately, letting work eat up my time during the week & letting other tasks take over my weekends (taxes, cleaning for Easter dinner, Veronica Mars marathons, etc.).

There’s this weird sense of guilt I have when I “waste time” working on The Beast when I have paid work I could be doing. It’s stupid, I know, but its the truth.

I’m not much of a tagger, but if you have a work in progress you want to write about, do it & let me know so I can read about it.

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5 Comments

  1. Susanna 25.Apr.14 at 8:43 am

    I’m disappointed … I expected something less thoughtful than this.

    I’m writing a memoir, partly about music, but I don’t have a blog. It is really hard to find books about women/girls and music. Ten Thousand Saints was about music but not really “women and.” Of course, “Goon Squad,” but again more “by a woman” than about female relationships with music.

    I have a book in my nightstand (now ON it, next in the reading list!) called “The Importance of Music to Girls” by Lavinia Greenlaw that I found at the record store. But obviously haven’t read it yet.

    Oh and a friend spotted “We Hope You Like This Song: An Overly Honest Story About Friendship, Death and Mix Tapes” but I found it disappointing. OH and “Go Ask Ogre,” which is a bit raw but interesting, by Jolene Siana.

    That’s about it, which is kind of a drag.

    Reply
    1. Jodi 25.Apr.14 at 9:08 am

      “Goon Squad” is probably one of my all-time favorite books, but not because of the music involved. The music, it seems, is kind of incidental.

      I have read The Importance of Music to Girls and found it lacking. I wrote about it here, if you’re interested.

      It makes me so damn angry that it’s this hard to find these kinds of books. Clearly there is an audience and yet publishers don’t want to give us what we want! Damn them.

      Reply
      1. Susanna 25.Apr.14 at 10:13 am

        That’s OK, we’ll write ours and then ALL WILL BE RIGHT WITH THE WORLD. No pressure.

        I hope lots of others do want to read about it, but sometimes I wonder, ergo one of my working titles, “The Only Girl in the Record Store.” Nice to know you are there too, albeit perhaps rifling through a different section.

        There was another memoir I read too that was good, but I can’t remember the title or author. She was a drummer in bands, in Brooklyn. She got married at the end but it didn’t solve everything. There’s also “I Don’t Care About Your Band” but it’s not really about music (and not really my cup of tea either).

        Also, I meant to say, years ago I began tracking my “own” writing hours in my time-tracking spreadsheet for work (freelance writing/editing), as if I’m my own client, and that has made me really value my own writing time … to the extent where I now sometimes resent my well-paying corporate gigs, but that is a first-world problem.

        Reply
  2. David 15.Jun.14 at 9:26 am

    Have you read Stacey D’Erasmo’s novel Wonderland yet? I hosted her book release party, and she also bemoaned the lack of fiction with female musicians as protagonists.

    More importantly, how far are you on the accompanying Book Notes piece for your book? The invitation is open…

    Reply
    1. Jodi 15.Jun.14 at 12:17 pm

      I have Wonderland on my list of books to read. I want to get through The Beast v.2 before I read it. I had a bit of a freakout when I discovered the book because it seemed a lot like what I was working on, but I’ve been continuously reassured by the best people on how it’s okay if it’s like what I’m working on and that it’s not my book.

      David, writing the Book Notes essay for the book is my favorite form of procrastination. I spend a lot of time debating whether the essay should be about the music I listened to while writing or about the music the main character talks about in the book. So many very important decisions to make.

      Reply

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