Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Remaining Sane as a Writer

Please welcome Lisa Acerbo with a message many writers probably need to read!

I am not sure I have cultivated the attributes needed to stay sane as a writer.  I put a lot of pressure on myself in life and it often bubbles over into other areas, especially writing.  Most of the time, I enjoy writing, and rather than making me insane, it helps me to cope with other stress.  I love to draft and create. On the other hand, revision and editing can send me over the edge and lead to procrastination. 

Even after submitting Apocalipstick to Eternal Press, the revision process had really just begun.  I never considered how it would be AFTER the book was accepted for publication that I would revise in such depth.  I am glad I did, and, at times, still wish I had the chance to do more. After an editor had looked at the copy, my once fluent prose seemed choppy, my witty sentences contrived, my vocabulary stunted.  I was flummoxed.  I spent such a long time getting the manuscript ready for submission that to see the need for additional changes was hard.  It drove me over the edge. My problem then and now is I want find the perfect word for the perfect sentence, and my writing is never perfect.  Even though I know revision is a critical part of completing a novel and creating the best possible story, I dread it.

As of writing this, my second book is sitting on the kitchen table waiting to be revised.  It’s been there a long time.  I’ve learned much from Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing.  The only way to improve the craft is to read, write, and then repeat the process.  Read. Write. Repeat.  Easier said than done.  I am procrastinating and it drives me crazy.  I need to get over stalling if I want to remain sane. When revising starts me screaming and pulling out my hair what do I do? I take a long walk and listen to a good audio book or some music. Then I go home, pick up the manuscript and get to work.  If all else fails, I reach for a large glass of wine.

Title:  Apocalipstick
Author:  Lisa Acerbo
Published:  August 1, 2013
Publisher:  Eternal Press
Word Count:  67,000
Genre:  Horror Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Contains non-graphic zombie gore
Recommended Age:  15+

Synopsis: Jenna should be having the time of her life at college. Instead, her only desire is survival. She lives in a world gone insane after a virus kills most of the population. Being alive after the apocalypse is bad, but when the undead return, hungry for humans, times turn darker. For Jenna and a small group of survivors, the goal is to reach the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human. Will this new utopia last?

Excerpt from Apocaliptick by Lisa Acerbo:

“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes…” ran through Jenna’s mind, another remnant of her former life. Now the graveyard was the safest place. Evil openly roamed the streets and it was coming for her.
Jenna blinked the sweat out of her eyes and took a deep breath. She swayed with exhaustion. Angels, symbols of all things God and good, adornments of the dead, swam in and out of Jenna’s clouded vision. She placed a scarred hand on the peaceful, cold stone markers, embellished with the names of forgotten loved ones. Nowadays, loved ones wanted to come back from the grave and claw your face off, devour your insides.
Jenna wanted to lie down and give up. She was tired and had lost everyone she knew. Hair lank and greasy, mud splattered clothing, old and mismatched. Instead of admitting defeat, she forced herself to stay alert, pushing matted, raven hair out of her eyes with a dirty hand. Jenna could not remember a time in her recent history where she felt clean or had a moment in which she was not fighting to stay alive. Looking around the darkened landscape, she wanted to live. She shoved to her feet once again.

About the Author:
Born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, Lisa Acerbo has lived in Trumbull, Connecticut
since 2001. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English Education and receiving a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Southern Connecticut State University, she worked in a variety of educational positions.  Presently, Lisa works as a high school teacher and adjunct faculty for the University of Phoenix.

Lisa always loved to write and worked as an intern for the Connecticut Post when completing her degree at Southern Connecticut State University.  In addition to the Connecticut Post, her articles appeared in the Trumbull Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter.  She occasionally dabbles in poetry and her poetry won first place in the Trumbull Arts Festival Literary Competition.

Lisa lives with her husband, Frank, two daughters, Dominique and Jessica, plus three cats and two horses.

Contest Prize (international): 2 - eBook copy of Apocalipstick with a $20 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Very interesting post and I can certainly understand the appeal and repeal aspect. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for being part of my book tour. It is still really hard to start revising, but sometimes revision and editing feels like a puzzle I must solve, and when all the changes are made, the puzzle is complete.

  3. Ah that good old Steven King book "On Writing" really helped me a lot, it wasn't until I read that book that I began to write in the first place. I really enjoyed reading about the writing process, I'm a huge procrastinator myself, when I get in procrastination-mode I usually justify it, I mean use my procrastination to my advantage by reading as much as I can so I don't feel so guilty :D
    I'm definitely looking forward to reading Apocalyipstick, it's right up my zombie-loving alley ;)