The creative path can be a lonely one. Your family and friends love you and want you to be successful, but sometimes… well, sometimes it’s a lot like this.
The truth is, some days writing a book is a bit like open warfare. You, the author, often have very particular ideas about what you want your characters to do, how you want them to do it, when and so on. You’d think, since you’re the writer, that you were in control. You’d be wrong.
Once characters emerge fully fleshed in the story they often develop a mind of their own. The story will sometimes teeter out of your control as your muse gives it a goddess-like shove in a direction you never intended. And your characters, well, they might have ideas of their own about how to act in a given situation.
I had an interaction quite similar to this very recently. It’s easy to be a critic, much less easy to really try to create something, do it well, and put it out in the world. I say Fuck the critics, fuck the naysayers, the people who tell you your dreams are silly or impossible or impractical. Fuck the people who seek to undermine what it is you strive for and believe in most passionately.
The creative path isn’t always an easy one. It’s hard walking the road less traveled, but ultimately it is so much more rewarding. I published my second fiction novel this week, and I have a third non-fiction book and course helping writers with their WordPress websites. The second novel in my current series will be published in June, and I’m halfway writing the third. I made those. I created them out of my sweat, my tears, my time. Nothing can beat that.
Some days it’s easy to get your word count in. The story come so easily it almost feels like it’s coming from somewhere or something else. It feels like you are just a conduit, fingers flying to keep up with the words streaming in your head. These are the best of days.
Other days it’s not so easy to get your word count in. No matter where you go, how hard you try, the words just are not there. Everything is a distraction, the world is just throwing obstacles your way left and right. These are not good days.
For me, summer is a tough time to write. It’s my favorite season, and I love being out in the warm weather, hiking, mountain biking, camping, gardening. It’s the time of year we tend to do most of our house projects too. All of that means that sometimes my writing gets pushed to the back burner.
The voices in my head don’t like that very much.
Oh, the writing life. Muse? Malarcky is more like it. Inspiration? Pfft! That’s for beginners. We’re half way through the year now. That idealistic bullshit has worn thin, if not altogether off. At this point in the year I’m lucky if I can even type
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
anymore. You can look high or low, under every last thing in the house or outside of it. You may find dust bunnies and spiders, but not much else hiding there. This is the part where you gotta buckle it down and just churn, baby, churn.
From the outside, the writing life is a glamorous one. Speaking engagements all around the world with free airfare and hotel, adoring fans fawning on every word you utter, plenty of money for you to live quite comfortably while you scribble away over at the coffee shop everyday. And oh… how wonderful must it be to live so creatively every day!
It has it’s benefits, I’m not going to lie. But things are rarely what we initially believe them to be.
Ideas, and no more ideas? If I had a dollar for every time this happened to me I’d be giving my books away and living like J.K. Rowling! Many (most) writers are part-time scribblers and part-time something elsers. Ideas seem to fall from the sky at an alarming rate while I’m working on that something else. I wade through them like snow during a March Colorado snow. (That’s super deep, in case you didn’t know.)
The instant my butt hits my office chair at home, however, not even a cricket can be heard through the deafening silence in my head. *sigh*
The Writing Life is a once monthly comic series posted on the first Wednesday of every month. Stay tuned for the next comic, scheduled for 5/4/16.
Somewhere roughly about the midpoint of a novel life really begins to suck for a writer. You would think that being a plotter would help with this, but, you’d be wrong. Middles are simply shitty places to be. I think if a novel could be written without a middle all of us would do it.
The Writing Life is a once monthly comic series posted on the first Wednesday of every month. Stay tuned for the next comic, scheduled for 4/6/16.