Every writer I know has trouble writing. ~ Joseph Heller, American author
Perhaps some of you have noticed I haven’t been around the blogosphere as much lately as I have in previous years.
Maybe some of you have missed me.
Or my musings.
There’s an excellent reason for that.
I’ve been writing.
Working on my novel, what I envision as book two of a mystery series.
I’ve complained before about how hard it is, writing the sophomore novel.
Not that my debut was a screaming success or anything, but I think I gained a lot of experience from that whole process — writing, finding a publisher, marketing, and so forth — and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by my own expectations to do better this time out of the gate.
To learn from my mistakes and those others have cautioned me about.
You know, until you actually start writing “for reals,” you never appreciate the number of How-To books there are on writing.
Topics like: how to get started, how to work through a plot, how to banish procrastination and writer’s block, how to find an agent (whew, LOTS of those!), how to publicize your book, and so on.
Some argue it’s important to get your first draft down. Nobody’s first effort is stellar, they maintain, and that’s what editors are for.
But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I have to be true to myself. And I cringe at jotting down junk. I labor over each word, trying to make sure every sentence says what I mean, with correct grammar and spelling.
Bonus? Less time expended on proofreading!
Still, writing isn’t easy.
It’s not physical labor like construction, or emotional labor like counseling, or mental labor like surgery, but….
Sometimes, it’s all of that.
When I was a working journalist, I’d go to a meeting, return to the office, type up my report, and be done until the next assignment.
Not so with novels! The process is way slower, and it’s easy to get discouraged.
I keep reminding myself that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” (John Heywood, English playwright).
But they were laying bricks every hour so the work was getting done.
Slowly, but steadily.
While I can’t put down words every hour, I can commit to writing every day.
To keep the juices flowing and that pump primed at all times.
So the Muse won’t get exasperated and dance away, never to return!