Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Writing Musings

My little blog here is about lots of things.  The pool.  What I cook.  Vacations I take.  And the occasional book promotion.

Well, today I want to talk about writing.  And some of the misconceptions people have about my livelihood.

First off, writing is not typing.  If it were, I'd finish a book in a few weeks.  Or less.  I type pretty fast. Typing is copying words that already exist.  Writing is actually creating those words.

Having an idea is not the same thing as writing a book.  I can't tell you how many times someone has come up to me and said "Hey, I have this great idea for a book.  How about I give it to you, you write it, and we split the profit?"  Um, no.  Ideas are everywhere, they are a dime a dozen.  The execution of the idea, the finding just the right words and scenes and characters - that's the difficult part.  Like most writers, I have an "Idea File" where I toss random ideas in case I want to develop them later.  In a story, there is so much more than the idea.  There's character growth, conflict and resolution, secondary characters, subplots, suspense... I could go on and on.

Secondly, writing isn't easy.  If it was, we'd all be doing it.  I love my job and wouldn't want to do anything else, but I'd be lying if I said I sit down every morning at the computer all fired up and the words just flow. There's actually a lot of sweat and nervousness and self-doubt.  Me, I've sold 36 plus books to publishers and I *still* have to convince myself that I know what I'm doing.  Sometimes I wonder if I can do it, complete this book, give my characters a voice and the idea in my head justice. Sometimes, I can't quite convey what's in my heart on paper.  It looks flat, and lifeless, and I have to go back and figure out what I did wrong.

Writers aren't all rich.  I wish I was.  My husband wishes I was.  Sure, I am making a living, but I made a hell of a lot more money running our commercial insurance agency.  So please refrain from pointing out an uber successful novelist (like JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyers) and asking me why I'm not famous like them. Once again, if it were that easy, don't you think I'd be doing that?

And that brings to mind another point.  As a professional writer, I don't get to sit around and wait for the creative muse to strike.  Inspiration doesn't hang out in my office.  I have a job.  I do it.  That involves sitting down at the keyboard, and working.  Writing.

Wow - I wasn't aware when I started writing this blog that this was going to turn into a rant.  Not my intention, at all.  So to refocus on the positive....

When I have a good writing day, the world is full or rainbows and butterflies and I sing.  Yesterday was a good day.  I was happy.  I'm starting this day happy and optimistic that I'll have the same success.  (We can only hope!)

If I have a bad writing day, otherwise known as pulling words from my... you know.  If it's bad, then I glower.  I don't sing.  I'm unhappy and sulk.

I always prefer the good writing days!  Wouldn't you?


Anna Adams said...

LOL on the rant! My personal favorite is when people you love, who you know truly love you--advise you on the type of book you should be writing. You know--real novels. ;-)

Karen Whiddon said...

I know Anna. I forgot about that. I still remember the family dinner where my brother-in-law stood up and asked me when I was going to get serious and actually write a real book. As opposed to what - a fake one?