When the Writing Comes Easy

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.

Posted by Kristina in Writing
  • Gena says:

    This is funny because right now I have the exact opposite problem: for over 10 years, I’ve done the non-fiction thing and am now starting fiction. I find it very intimidating making up stories from scratch. To me, it’s easier when the stories are laid out in front of me and all I have to figure out is how to tell them. I do understand how writing essays is difficult, though, deciding how much to reveal. I tell myself ahead of time, before starting any essay, that there are certain things I’ll tell and certain things I won’t. Just because you write a revealing essay doesn’t mean you must reveal all. It also helps if your boy/girlfriends, wives/husbands, family never read anything you write. (: It also helps if you think about how universal your experiences are—and all are experiences are universal and have the potential to help others, if we write about them.

    I’m also very good at the procrastination game. I think most writers are.

  • Kristina says:

    I think being a procrastinator is a prerequisite for being a writer, Gena.  wink  Good luck with your fiction writing!

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