Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 • 2 Comments on When the Writing Comes Easy
I’ve been writing. I know that shouldn’t come as a surprise since, you know, I’m a writer, but I had a couple of weeks there at the end of June when I couldn’t figure out what page I was on. I’m still not sure (it seems I’m on a few different pages), but I’m writing. Deadlines help. I keep track of various anthology deadlines by using Apple’s Stickies application so I can see them all at once (terrifying) or hide them (cowardly) at will. Having all those stickies sitting on my Mac, staring at me in their color-coded glory, was starting to get on my nerves. I would hide them, but I knew they were still there.
I wrote two stories over the 4th of July weekend and got those sent out, so now I’m caught up on the July deadlines. I have four August stickies still taunting me—one of them is for a nonfiction essay. I started working on that yesterday. It’s slow going. Writing nonfiction is hard for me, it’s so personal. There’s an intimacy to nonfiction that scares me. I know, the erotica writer thinks something is too personal and intimate. Go ahead, laugh. But it’s true. So why am I doing it? Truth? Probably to avoid working on a novel. The more short deadlines I have on my to do list, the longer I can procrastinate on novel writing.
We writers play games with ourselves. Punish and reward, bribe and cajole. No chocolate until I write a thousand words. A new messenger bag for selling that hard-to-write story. Is it discipline or masochism? Maybe a bit of both, with a sprinkle of ego and a dash of self-loathing. Writing nonfiction is something I want to do, but it intimidates the hell out of me. Who wants to know what I really think? That’s why I like fiction—what’s in my imagination is so much more interesting than what I’ve really experienced. But… I still want to write nonfiction. So, I’m working on it. Slowly.
The novels are waiting, though. I’m not not working on them, I’m just not focusing on them the way I should be. The way I will. I’m excited about one story in particular—one that I’ve only just begun writing. I have the others—the nearly-finished chick lit, the finished-in-need-of-editing mystery—to work on, as well. Sometimes it’s exhausting to think of how many writing projects I have in the works. Right now it’s exciting, like planning a 12-city tour of Europe. A crazy busy itinerary, but what fun! So many destinations to visit, characters waiting for me to arrive.
I’ll get there.