The Hit List - White-knuckling the rough draft

I am in the midst of writing my ninth book. Perhaps you picture me sitting at a big oak desk, puffing on a pipe, a glass of Merlot nearby with a fluffy cat sleeping peacefully on a rug while I gallantly type away (with perfect posture, of course). In reality, there is nothing to smoke, no intoxicating libations, or a chilled-out cat. Instead, he’s prowling through the office, screaming for Rocking Lobster Temptations while I sit at this tiny, messy, cheap desk white-knuckling my way through the rough draft.

Frankly, it’s the worst part of writing next to the sore back I get from sitting like a candy cane as I hunch over the keyboard. Rough drafts are rough. There is no glamour in the writing life.

Although I’m nearing the end of the first draft, I’m far from confident about my material. Instead, I’m doubtful. I always go into full-blown panic when I’m at this part of the writing process.

“This sucks! I won’t have enough material! I have too much material! My publisher is going to hate my guts!”

Those anxious mantras ring through my head, but still, I clickety-clack away, spilling my intestines on a disjointed manuscript no eyes will ever view, except my own.

Writing looks easy to the untrained eye. Some folks have said to me “I wish I could sit around all day writing!” They are still under that illusion of the big oak desk. Fools.

Sometimes I make the same assumptions about other people’s work. “Must be nice cooking in a kitchen all day! Wow, you get to act for a living – how sweet that must be! Oooooh….you lucky duck flying in a rocket and eating astronaut food!”

The truth is, we are all white-knuckling it to some degree. No one can possibly understand the un-glam reality unless they live it day by day…or live with us.

So the next time you’re churning away at whatever it is you do, don’t imagine anyone else has it easier than you (except maybe a pillow tester). The true story is rarely what you think and usually a lot messier. Kind of like a crappy first draft! Now you’ll need to excuse me while I finally get my sorry ass off this worn-out cushion to take care of this howling feline. I guess being a cat is just as challenging as being a writer.

magnolia tree in spring

Magnolia trees are so beautiful.

Other stuff:

From Elle: How To Help Buffalo Shooting Victims And The Surrounding Community.

Interesting: A child star at 7, in prison at 22. Then she vanished. What happened to Lora Lee Michel?

A good read from Kultured Child: In Appreciation of Labi Siffre: An abridged reflection on folk music, Black erasure, and an unfamiliar giant.

Listen up: Mimi Young joins me on Astrology Bytes this week to talk about Chinese Astrology.

Check this out from The Business Mystic Aliza Rose: How Scammers On Instagram Made Me Change My Social Media Strategy.

Sabrina Scott had a lot to say about internet tarot scammers over on the Tarot Bytes podcast.

Gosh, I love Megan Thee Stallion: Megan Thee Manifester.

Go granny: This 86-Year-Old Nonna Is Known As the Pasta Machine.

Beautiful: These luminous portraits of queerness are also about life’s universality.

Five Common Misconceptions About Astrology.

I’m quoted in this post over at Elite Daily: Chrishell And G Flip’s Zodiac Signs Work Super Well Together.

Time for some new folks to get involved: Baby Formula Shortage Has an Aggravating Factor: Few Producers.

So what are we going to do about it: The Online Spaces That Enable Mass Shooters.

This is outrageous: Two Behemoths Dominate the Motorized Wheelchair Industry. Disabled Customers Pay the Price.

From Lisa Stardust: Rihanna & A$AP Rocky’s Baby Is a Taurus Sun, Libra Moon. What Does That Mean?

Good question: ‘We Don’t Know How Many Women Are Out There Like That’ Anna Borkowski accused three men of rape. Why did prosecutors stop her?

People love to bitch about Mercury retrograde. I got a list for ya: 50 Positive Things To Do During Mercury Retrograde.

Michael A Singer just released this: Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament.

I love the Enneagram: The Enneagram Made Simple: A No-Nonsense Guide to Using the Enneagram for Growth and Awareness.

WANT: Seal, Sigil & Call: A New Approach to Ritual Magic.

Stephen King’s memoir has helped me keep on writing, crappy rough draft and all: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Coming next year: House Of Our Queer: Healing, Reframing, and Reclaiming Your Spiritual Practice.

This sweet kit will get you painting your tarot deck today: Create Your Own Tarot Cards: A step-by-step guide to designing a unique and personalized tarot deck. <-Cards are included!

Your little one will have no time to stare at the screen if you give ’em a copy of Tarot For Kids. Yay!

Tarot: No Questions Asked: Mastering the Art of Intuitive Reading is the book I wish I had when I began reading tarot.

Are you an audiophile? Check this out: Tarot: No Questions Asked: Mastering the Art of Intuitive Reading is available as an audiobook.

“Astrology is so complicated! Where do I start?!” If you feel like that, get this: Astrology for Real Life: A Workbook for Beginners (A No B.S. Guide for the Astro-Curious).

Also, there’s an audio version of Astrology For Real Life if you wanna listen and learn!

If you need a new tarot deck, this is the one you’ll want to stick in your cart: The Uncommon Tarot: A Contemporary Reimagining of an Ancient Oracle.

Need a fun, playful way to learn tarot? Ahem: The Tarot Coloring Book. You’re welcome!

The world is always in turmoil but you don’t need to be. Tarot For Troubled Times has mystical remedies so you can remain strong.

Almost time to start blabbing about my next book: Twist Your Fate: Manifest Success with Astrology and Tarot. It’s coming in August!



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What I’m Grateful For:

New bookmarks

Fresh threads

Cherry berry mints

Getting 100% sleep score


Soundtrack for 5/21/22

Turn Up The Sunshine by Diana Ross and Tame Impala


© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2022

images from stock photography and personal collection 

*Some of the links are affiliate links. I receive a small fee if you purchase but this does not affect the price of the item.*


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