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writing

Living With the Difficulty of a Novel

Measuring progress can be tricky, especially for a writer who doesn’t have pages adding up, let alone when a writer is deleting them. Over the past month, I’ve hardly written any words in the main document of my novel. I’ve detoured instead into research, character studies, and questioning the shape of the entire project.

For a while, I was worried enough that I searched for the basics of novel writing and rediscovered the stuff about honing a one-sentence concept, building on that for an outline, expanding next to chapter paragraphs,… Continue reading

Shell Time

sea shellsBeaches lend themselves to pondering eternity, and often, in Januarys, I’ve visited Florida and contemplated the past and the future. If you ask me, the continuum of time is fleeting, almost immaterial. We can see ahead and behind in the families playing at the edge of the waves, the generations spelled out for us when a toddler tests the wet sand with his toes while grasping his grandmother’s hand. The two are interchangeable, in a way, different spokes on the same spinning wheel.

Now that I’m home, I’m back on… Continue reading

Iterations of a Writer

At the top of my Journal document, where I’ll see it every morning, is a blue message that reads:

The only failing is not trying at all. That’s the loss, the mistake, the cowardice. Be brave, Caragh. Be brave. Face this book you started. It was a good start. You wanted to finish a draft by the end of this year, so do it. Get on it. Go slowly if you must, but go. The rest can all wait, all of it, until later.

It’s a message from my past… Continue reading

Taking a Chance on Ari & Milo

I’ve written a novel that I love. I believe it works best in serial format, and I want to get it directly to readers, (readers who are young but not too young), for free, on their phones. So I’m putting it up on Wattpad, starting today.

I believe in trying experiments where I don’t know the outcome, and this story is so special to me that I’m willing to take risks. For instance, my novel could easily be lost in the noise of other stories. Posting it could take… Continue reading

Mind Tide

Spring Sky

In the past two months, I’ve written 24K words in a document of brainstorming where, in theory, I test run ideas. Most days, it feels like I’m simply typing, keeping my fingers going. Hello, there, fingertips. Weird and boring and random things show up there, but I don’t go back to erase. I don’t care if I repeat. I let myself daydream. I look up bits of research and drop them in so they’re somewhere, not really refindable, but still there. I invoke Tennessee Williams with his “Loss,… Continue reading

Deserving to Write

Half-knitted mittens with needlesWhat writer hasn’t worried that she is wasting precious hours working on a project that might never come together? We are conditioned to believe in our culture that work should be compensated by money, which in turn confers value and worth. When a writer devotes months and years to a novel, with no guarantee it will earn a penny, it’s logical, at some point, to question whether that effort is justified.

It is. We deserve to write. I’m not saying it’s right to neglect other responsibilities, but when writing expands… Continue reading

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