This is Your Brain After Developmental Edits

Image from Flickr by Andrew Malone

Image from Flickr by Andrew Malone

Remember that commercial from the 80s where some guy holds up an egg (“This is your brain.”) and then cracks it into a sizzling frying pan (“This is your brain on drugs.”)?

That’s a writer’s brain after a round of developmental edits.

I sent them in today, after four weeks of wrestling with plot lines, ripping open scenes and patching them with new ones, and ruthlessly deleting a character who just didn’t fit in anymore. (Hey, it’s been a long month, and I had to take it out on someone.)

I’ve had days when I tacked on 1,000+ words, and days when I worked just as hard and ended with a net loss of words (those are the better days—it’s more fun refining than writing first drafts). I neglected a paid writers’ workshop, an expensive mid-November conference, my blog, and the whole idea of NaNoWriMo.

There have been other ups and downs in November. My application to teach an essay-writing workshop was denied based on a lack of formal teaching experience. My short story The Marshmallow Tree won honorable mention in a contest. I turned down, for the first time, an invitation for a reading due to an utter lack of ideas (refer to analogy of fried brain). I received two rejections on short stories, but one of those rejections came with helpful, encouraging notes. And I met my goal to finish the first round of edits on The Fourth Wall by November’s end.

In short, I’ve been living the writer’s life. I don’t know whether to laugh, or cry, or maybe just read a good book. But I think I’ll call it a month. Happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you in December!


  1. You’re right…it has been a rough November. Have I told you lately how proud I am of you and how much I love you?

  2. Hey there, you need a break! You are definitely rocking the writer’s world. You have been so successful, and rejections are a part of the writer’s life. Keep up the great work. Remember to take a ‘me’ break. I’m so proud of you!

    • Hey, Elizabeth! Thank you :). You’re right–rejections are just part of it. I’ve gotten tougher over the years! It is time for a break though; have you read any good books lately?