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
What 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
Managing a Writer’s Platform
Writers are often advised to develop their platforms so that when publishers consider buying a novel, they’ll see that the author already has a built-in audience, a direct connection to potential readers. I see the merit of this concept, and many authors are genuinely excited by the idea of reaching out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and elsewhere to connect with friends, readers and influencers who can spread the word about their books. I have been in that mode, and it’s fun. If you’re there now, I salute you.
I think… Continue reading
Perseverance. It sounds like slogging through mud. On an empty stomach. But perseverance also provides purpose and the satisfaction of returning to the same difficult project that gradually yields to the effort. When you build a life around perseverance, if you dare to risk admitting to something so old-fashioned, your truth is so small, day to day. It’s so inconspicuous and personal. It’s a novel coming alive word by word, and then taken apart scene by scene and rebuilt and transformed. It’s finishing that novel and starting, good Lord, another… Continue reading
Playtime is Messy
I like toys and colorful messes when I’m playing. When I need to concentrate, though, I often have to tidy up a bit so that I’m not itched by tippy clutter in the background. Similarly, I’ll make a list of pesky things I need to do and park them for late in the afternoon so phone calls or errands don’t chop up my writing time.
When I’m starting a new writing project, though, the mess is in my writing. I land in a world I can’t see clearly and start… Continue reading
When No One’s Watching
Since I finished the third book in the Vault of Dreamers series three years ago, I’ve been writing on my own, not under contract. I’ve been free, in other words, to write whatever I want, without deadlines or expectations to pressure me. Of course, I haven’t had a significant income, either, which is not sustainable indefinitely. I’ve been writing on the speculative, eventual payment plan, working with the firm intention of completing a book that can go on submission. This is very different, however, from writing under contract, when,… Continue reading