I’m back to work on Donut Run, my attempt at a rhyming picture book. I’ve been working on this manuscript on and off for the past decade.
I often dig into Donut Run when I’m between projects. As I ponder what to do next, I’ll hear myself say, “Maybe it’s time to finish Donut Run. It should be almost done by now.”
I say this with such conviction that I completely believe it.
At first glance, the manuscript does look almost done. The verses are all there. It has a beginning, middle, and an end. My eyes fall upon a joke or two—and the jokes are still funny!
Yes, I think, this is almost done.
Then I start working. And, no, Donut Run is not almost done. Donut Run is never almost done. Oh, the tortured rhymes! Oh, the pacing! Oh, the…the…the everything!
I grumble and grump. I rethink every plot point. I suddenly hate everything.
I pull out my rhyming dictionary and craft a new stanza that describes the allure of the titular donut:
Be-sprinkled, be-gummied, be-chocolately chipped!
Be-powdery sugary! Strawberry whipped!
On top of all that was white goo and thick glaze
That shimmered and glowed in a tooth-achy haze!
I marvel at my rhyme-y brilliance…Until I realize that my new stanza doesn’t quite work with all of my other stanzas.
I consider throwing out the entire manuscript and starting over. I try to convince myself to get rid of the rhymes. But I can’t. I looove the rhymes. The rhymes drive me crazy, but I love them. They’re not quite right, but I love them. They may never be quite right, but…
This manuscript is my white whale. I no longer work on Donut Run to get the story published. I work on Donut Run to see if I can pull it off.
And I will pull it off.
I will definitely pull it off.