Thursday, September 2, 2010

So Far, No Rose Gardens

While spending the last few days with my nose to the grindstone or, to be more precise, my fingers to the keyboard, there are certain facts that have become apparent.

10. Writing is like taking a long car trip. You've always got that little whine of "Are we there yet?" reverberating in your head.

9. I've learned to expect that inner voice saying "We haven't had a joke in a while..."

8. Shouting "Write Better!" does not ensure I will.

7. The lure of logging on to the internet (just for a minute) can be somewhat overwhelming.

6. I'm convinced every successful writer has more self-discipline than me.

5. Every 5,000 or so words, every writer is deserving of a spontaneous parade. Surprisingly, mine has yet to appear.

4. Writing is tiring. Only other writers will understand how much energy it takes to weave that plot and characters into a tapestry of note.

3. I have a firm understanding of why so many writers in the past have had a relationship with alcohol.

2. The next person who says to me "Oh, it must be so much fun to write a book" will be lucky if they don't receive a sharp kick in the shins.

1. There are times I doubt my choices, my sanity and my ability. These are the times I remind myself I chose to do this, to stop complaining and just keep writing.


  1. Elspeth - I admire your determination and perseverance. And I think you've made some fascinating observations, too. When I have my nose to the writing grindstone, I look up once in a while, too, hoping for that parade. So far, I haven't gotten one, either. But I have noticed that several sneaky vortices await the writer. Internet research is one of them. Even really important, relevant-for-the-book research is a snare for the unwary ; ).

  2. LOL

    No 8 reminds me of the time when I sent off a manuscript and realized afterwards that I had NOT removed that note to myself: "write beautiful language".

  3. LOL, love #2! It IS fun just not ALL the time, haha!

  4. Last night I couldn't sleep because I had ideas for my story running though my head. I wanted to get up and write but knew I needed the sleep (which I didn't get anyway...). But I really suffer from #7.


  5. I really identified with # 8.
    Although shouting at yourself can make you feel strangely better.

  6. I don't want a whole parade, but a band playing "When the Saints Come Marching In" would be nice. That would get me to stand up and dance a little, which is very good exercise, which I desperately need and hardly ever get. :0


  7. Margot; Oh, the internet research! I've been caught up in that whirlpool more than once.

    Dorte; Thanks for the giggle. That would have been unsettling.

    Laura; It can be fun - but it's work too.

    Terry; I think the occasional parade would be most appreciated by many writers.

    Clarissa; I've had that happen to me too. Why is it our characters tend to wake up and talk just when we're about to drop off to sleep?

    Al; It does tend to make one feel better, doesn't it? It doesn't necessarily help the writing, but at least it relieves some stress!

    Patricia; I don't think I'd need an entire parade either - but a bit of a fuss would be nice. I identify completely about the excuse for exercise - right now my fingers are the only part of me that are getting much of a work-out.

  8. Once again, it's easy to identify with the entire list, but I do think #4 is oh so true!

  9. Jane; It's so good to know other writers feel this way as well!

    Carol; Thanks. Times 100.

  10. Six - that's the one that rang loudest for me. I constantly think everyone else has more self-discipline to get things done, and in comparison I move at the rate of a snail. But the whole list definitely rings true - and the last one sums it all up so nicely. :)

  11. Truer words have never been spoken. I live with all of these but my favorites are #10 and #2.


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