Recently someone asked me, “What’s the weirdest thing your dog has ever eaten?”
Without hesitation, I responded, “The rough drafts to my books.”
I would be in my living room, my office, my kitchen or some other part of my home and I would hear this horrible, distinctive crunching, ripping sound.
I like to start the rough draft of my books on artist pads.
I thought I was being clever by hiding these 9 by 11 unlined pads behind the sofa in the room I use for distant healing.
Just like roaches and ants can find the crumbs you never knew were there, my dog Dixie can locate paper products I never realized were vulnerable to the gnashing of a cocker spaniel’s six-year-old teeth.
Once I proudly cleaned off my desk.
The only remaining piece of paper was my garden plan carefully designed by the one-and-only Lisa Daily, organic horticulturalist extraordinaire.
I stupidly thought this one piece of paper might be safe on top of my lap top.
During yoga class one evening Dixie ate my garden plan.
So why should I think that the rough draft to my books would be any different?
Being a writer is a curious thing.
At no point in your process do you not feel somewhat or completely neurotic.
For those of you who regularly keep up with my blogs, this is not new news.
I have confessed this in previous articles:
Whether you are driving yourself crazy trying to come up with the next life-changing idea, staying up all night fumbling over the rough draft, looking at 70 black and white photos of yourself wearing a black and white outfit doing different things with your hands and trying to figure out which hand mudra you are holding (I really questioned my sanity when I was preparing the photographs for The Little Book of Breathwork) or despairing whether you will ever, actually root out all the misspellings, grammatical boo-boos and other egg-faced errors, you just feel constantly a bit obsessive compulsively possessed in a way that other so-called normal people without creative obsessions might not quite understand.
So when Dixie ate the rough drafts of my previous books I rationalized that all those had been previously published and nobody other than a six-year-old cocker spaniel with an oral fixation would be interested in them anyway.
Eventually the pads got so tattered I relegated them to the recycling bin.
In 2020, I preoccupied my creative artist self by writing countless articles and creating umpteen free videos to empower people to get through the coronavirus pandemic.
Needless to say, these blogs and videos are still completely relevant.
Now it’s 2021.
I’m ready to write my 11th book.
The question is, “Is my 11th book ready to find me?”
I signed up for all the remote writing retreats for my writing coach Tom Bird this year, correctly surmising it might be awhile before we could meet in person.
It may sound ridiculous but I like many others often do my best writing when locked up in a room with about 30 other writers.
Second best is writing first thing in the morning after prayers and meditation.
Third best – well there is no third best.
As an author friend now deceased once remarked, “Everything else is like breaking rocks.”
So far I’ve been preoccupied and not attended any of these remote writing retreats, rationalizing that when I’m not locked up in a room with 30 other of my new-found author friends I can always find an excuse not to write.
I need a snack.
Dixie needs a walk.
A client needs healing.
You would think that since I’m hoping to start my 11th book I might have some traction by now.
I write to friends and clients asking for their ideas on what to write next (BTW if you are reading this and have a subject you would like me to write about, I humbly welcome your inquiries even though I think I may be onto something).
I abstain from reading anything other than dreadful news on the internet in hopes of hearing my own inner voice more clearly.
Being a professional intuitive, a medical intuitive healer, I am accustomed to asking for guidance.
When I’ve asked for guidance about book 11, I hear clearly, “It’s not time yet.”
When it is time the thing just takes over you like a bad virus.
You can’t do much else but write the book and keep writing until the fever has passed.
Now, however, I feel the time nigh approaching.
Excited, worried, dreading the side effects of twisting my mind to squeeze out the last thought, I’m beginning to hear my inspiration once again.
Every time you start a new book you start from scratch.
It doesn’t matter that Dixie ate the rough drafts of my previous books.
They wouldn’t help me now anyway.
I just went to Walmart and purchased a brand-new pad helpfully titled “IDEAS” along with eight new Pentel liquid gel pens.
I used to say if Walmart doesn’t have it you don’t really need it.
Apparently I NEED a brand-new pad marked “IDEAS.”
This pad will not be stored at dog level.
So here’s my final words of wisdom for you up-and-coming writers:
Do not store the rough draft of your new book where your cocker spaniel can eat it until after you have published.
Take that Stephen King!
I bet you didn’t share that pearl in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft!
To order my books in paperback, ebook of audiobook please visit the Catherine Carrigan Author Central Page on Amazon at this link.
To set up an appointment for a medical intuitive reading or healing work, please email catherine@catherinecarrigan or call 678-612-8816. If you are calling internationally, please call me at the same number through WhatsApp so I can return your call toll free!