I’m at home today, taking the day off after a few stress-filled days at work. Am I lounging in my house binge watching Netflix or catching up on Outlander (cause the season premier is coming up)? Speaking of which, I should catch up. NO! Focus. So, instead of going into work today, I have refocused the stress ball sitting in the pit of my stomach constantly to writing. I’m going to get some writing done today Even if it kills me. It might too.
Anyway, I’ve been up for two hours now. I’ve dropped my daughter at daycare (cause there was no way in hell I was getting anything done with her in the house), put in a load of laundry, and now writing a blog. So all in all, today is going about how I thought. Two hours down and no writing completed.
I love writing. I love to live in a story of my own creation and just disappear from the world. I’m gonna be honest with you though, it’s hard. To those people who say: I just sat down and wrote a book! I call bullshit. If you did, you didn’t write a good book.
There are so many things to consider, to plan, to evolve over the course of a book. There’s no way you just sat down and was like, “hey, i’m gonna write a book”. Nope, didn’t happen.
First, there are the characters and I don’t mean each and every person that makes an appearance in your book. I mean the main characters, the ones you want to stick with people long after they’ve put your book down. These people have to be real. Any shallow representations or facsimiles will be spotted and quick.
Second, you have to really think about your plot. Some people are “pantsers” (which means you sit down and just start writing without an overarching plan). This is true, you can do that, but their plot construction comes at the end while editing and finding holes that need to be filled. These people start with the characters and formulate everything else around those people. I personally find it easier to work those kinks out before hand but others don’t. I used to be a “pantser” when I first started but I ended up writing the same book three times just to get it right. All because I didn’t pre-plan. Now, the planning might take some of the surprise out of the book but it ends up being a much cleaner product.
Third, there’s a lot of responsibility to produce the best possible product – not only from my editor but from myself. I want my readers to feel the same things I do when I write any scene. I want to be proud of what I put out there for the world to consume.
Fourth, anyone who thinks they’re getting into writing to be a gazillionaire is nuts. For the most part, there’s no money in it. The authors that can sustain themselves with only their royalties are few and far between. Taking that into consideration, when I see free downloads online from sites that basically stole my work, it makes me furious. It also makes me feel horrible for those authors that don’t have another stream of income and are relying on their royalties to keep them afloat. Buy the book! It’s not that expensive!
Fifth, readers aren’t stupid. You have to know your story inside and out because your readers will. You make a mistake, they’ll find it. You don’t do a good job flushing something out, they’ll point it out. Or worse, they’ll stop buying your books.
Sixth, it’s really hard to not get distracted. Unless you’re on deadline, there’s nothing but your will-power pushing you to write that next sentence, paragraph, page, and chapter. And, sometimes, life and work get in the way. Also, the internet. The internet always gets in the way. Facebook is the devil. Just keep that in mind.
Finally, it’s hard to let it go. You type “The End” but that’s never the end. You can go over it again and again, shaping and reshaping until you’re blue in the face. Adding and deleting until you want to poke your eyes out from the stress and pain of editing the thing you love like your own limb. It is an extension of you with all the greatness and flaws that you possess. Letting it go, out into the world, is scary and nothing less than daunting. People will read it! They will judge you and not all of them will be favorable. Hell, some of them will be down right mean. You are not perfect and neither will your book be. The best you can do is get to a place where you don’t feel like you’re going to break down and weep as you hit the send button.
I am a contradiction. I work so far ahead in some instances that I have things done months in advance. At other times, I really need a date/deadline to make me do anything. This is one of those times.
I’m writing. Slowly. So slowly, that it hurts. It is actually painful. I did WORK instead of opening up the word doc to start writing. And that’s saying something. Like right now, I’m going to run to the Post Office instead. Hey, those signed copies of Emerald Fire have to get out. Right?
Every day, I think, today is the day I’m setting aside time to do this! Which happens…rarely. I’ve been working on the same three projects for more than a year now and that’s not like me. I used to churn out something (whether it be good or bad) every couple of months. Now, finishing a scene or a chapter is HARD.
I could blame it on a lot of things.
The toddler. She requires a lot of attention. Yes, this is absolutely true. However, she goes to bed at 8pm. I could work on stuff then. But, I don’t.
I could use my down time better. Instead of checking facebook (which is depressing these days anyway), I could be writing or sketching out scenes. But, I’m not.
I could just demand that Ross watch her on the weekends and get a little time to myself. I haven’t done that either.
Part of the issue is that I need a big chunk of time. Not only to write, but to get my head in the right space. I write some graphic and horrible shit. I can’t just do some laundry, read an Elmo book to Scarlett, and then write about ripping out someone’s small intestines and mounting them to the wall like a piece of art. Actually, that’s a pretty good visual. I’ll have to write that down. #Ideasforlater.
All of these are excuses. I’m well aware of that fact. I’m just having a hard time getting back into the swing of balancing my life with the extra responsibilities. It’s been almost two years. You’d think that would’ve been long enough to figure it out. Not so much.