Daily Archives: February 22, 2010

Ann Dee: On Being a Writer

Hello Everyone. Today my son flattened my laptop. So now it’s like a beach chair that goes all the way back–perfect.

I also want to say that there are things that we have to do over and over again. Have you noticed that? Like the laundry.


And over.

Or sweeping.


And over.

Or showering.


And over.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as the snow falls on dreary February days and I find myself once again, hauling all my kitchen utensils that were thrown down the stairs back up to the kitchen (what? this not normal in your house? weird).

We have big things. We have things we celebrate. We have occasions. But for the most part, life is over and over again. Many of these things we all do. Essentials like going to the bathroom, eating, etc. Other things are almost essential. Showering. Sweeping. Etc. And then there are things that we choose to make a part of our life. You get where I’m going with this but let me say something first.

I try to stay on top of things. I’ll get it all together and make some kind of goal. I will put everything away after the kids go to bed. I will not let dishes go over night. I will fold the clothes as I pull them out of the dryer.

I make these goals and things go well, for awhile. Then one day I get tired. Or I get lazy. Or I get busy and I toss the laundry into the basket (or on top of the dryer or on top of our bed like the one (maybe two) times Cam and I had a clean clothes bed for awhile) to be folded later. Ha ha ha later. If I let things go, if I get myself out of the habit, the laundry becomes this daunting task that is scary and embarrassing and goes untouched for days, weeks, months.

So back to the things we (I) choose to be a part of our lives. Writing. I know some people say they can’t breathe without it. They MUST write. I’m not like that. I like to write. I feel happy when I write. It’s good to write. But I can breathe quite well without it. In fact, I can have a perfectly fulfilling life without writing for the most part. I know that about myself. I do love it. But I also love a lot of other things.

I have learned then, that writing is a choice. Just like anything else.  I think what makes someone a writer is not whether they’ve published, not whether someone likes (or dislikes) what they’ve written, not if they have a lot of buzz on the internet, what makes a writer is if they write.




If they choose to make it a part of their life.

I used to say that I wrote in spurts. That whole Write Every Day thing was blah blah for me. I liked to take a week and just get it out. I used to say that. And it’s true. I do better when I have a week to get it out.

I don’t have a week. I barely have an hour.

So I’ve had to make decisions. Is this something I want? Do I want to be a writer? Am I a writer? And the only true question to that question is, do I write? Do I want to make space in my life to write?

Sometimes the answer is no.

But most the time the answer is yes.

If the answer is yes, I need to make it an over and over again thing. I have to. Because like the laundry, I have found that if I let it go, if I let it pile up in a basket, it becomes daunting. A horrible task that I don’t want to face. But if I make it a daily thing, just fold it as it comes out. Just put it away RIGHT THEN, if I do that, I get something done. I don’t have to wade through clean clothes and let the dirty ones pile up. If I keep my head in the writing mode a little at a time, day after day after day, I can be a writer.

Even with a flattened laptop.


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Carol: Book Idea

I have the very bestest idea for a book title. It is so good that I am keeping it to myself because I know that when people (who are sacrilegious) read this title they are going to want it for their very own. And I would not blame them.

What is cool about this title is that I have a story line to go with it and I think I want to write it in the short choppy line AND I know the why the girl is crazy.

Yes, that is part of the plot, too! The girl is crazy! Put all of those pieces together and guess what? You (meaning I) have a fantabulous novel forthcoming.

Of course, there is still the fact that I have write this book. And that dystopian, too. And there’s the rewrite of the other novel. And the idea I’m plotting with Jed Henry. But I am almost there. To this new book, I mean. All I have to do is move (yes, houses). And get a job. And sell more copies of my already-in-print novels. And stop worrying about what is going to really happen in 2012.

(Damn it! All I want is a house with a bit of land and some chickens. And two goats. And a milk cow. And a farm hand. And a stream with clean fresh water and a big indestructible plexiglass bubble to protect us from radiation [I don’t care what happens when that bubble seals off Springfield and the Simpsons] and orange trees and a few Clementine trees and a talent for playing the piano. Is that too much to ask? No, I didn’t think so.)

Last night my daughters went to a concert (probably a screamo-crapo concert–name Winds of Plague–I suggest everyone avoid them like the plague) and one of the boys she was with got both his eyes blacked and Kyra now has this lump in her leg and big bruises on not one arm, but two of her arms (yes, yes, I know what you are thinking but I don’t care I am leaving this line just like it is.).

And do you know what I have? I darn good idea for a book! After I finish everything. And move somewhere where I can live off the fatatheland.

I’m just saying.

PS–When you get the chance, read this. It’s great. And I mean it.
10 Rules for Writing Fiction from Atwood, Gaiman, and more


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