Summer sort of begins for me a few days after ALA. The older I get, the harder it is to recuperate from WIFYR. And if I’ve made the trip to ALA, well there you go. (I love going to ALA, BTW.)
But then I have July and August (school starts the last day of August this year) sort of to myself. I mean, I can write and rewrite. And paint this new home we’re in and maybe even make my bed if I want to.
There are clothes to organize, weeds to pull, food storage to think about and do something with, boxes to unpack, closets to clean out, Mom to care for, and of course, every days has to have some kid time in it. I do have these beautiful daughters.
Constantly, though, there are the story ideas.
No matter how hard life is (and it’s been a beast for several months now), there are places to escape to, words to worry over, plots to play with.
The stories are always in my head.
So here are questions for a writer to think on:
How do you keep track of your stories? Especially if you have lots of crazy ideas spinning around.
How do you decide which is the best idea to spend time on?
How long to you work on a book before you’re done?
Is it bad to write lots of words as fast as you can, even if they are crummy words?
During rewrite, what do you do with discarded words?
How much time do you give yourself for your writing?
How much time do you really write–how much do you check your social sites?
How do you know, before you do it, if it’s going to be worth the time to follow a character for 60,000 words?
Why do you keep going?
That’s the biggest question of all. This is a hard, many times, unrewarding venture. We’re lonely, underpaid (if paid at all), and many times our delicious books don’t get into the right editor’s hands, or readers’ hands. When books are published, most don’t get the awards they deserve, and certainly many don’t sell as well as other novels that seem poorly written. It’s frustrating, sometimes hard to watch, and so very personal.
If I didn’t publish, would I still keep doing this?
Truthfully, probably not as hard as I do now. But I would spend time each day working on a novel. And when I had cleaned that book up the best I could, I’d start another. I’d write another and another and another. Why?
Because I’m a writer.
That’s who I am.
All the way down to the bone.