Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Joy of Just Writing

After a ten-day business trip to Canada, it's back to the daily grind for me, which usually involves a hellish commute. My bus route takes me past Zucotti Park in lovely downtown Manhattan, but this morning I didn't even look up to see what might be happening with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I'll give you a good guess why, and it wouldn't be because I've grown tired of trying to understand what this movement hopes to accomplish. No, I was too busy writing scenes of my next, The Burning Candle.


Years ago, I used to wake up early in the morning and write for an hour before I went to work. My productivity level often soared after a decent night's sleep and the creative energies would just flow on to the page and later, computer screen. Lately? To hell with that! I need as much rest as I can get, especially since my sleeping habits border on insomnia. I've started spending more mornings on Twitter and email than doing the one thing I love best.


Crazy, right?
I can't blame my former malaise on a lack of energy or sleep. It's also has a lot to do with my foray into self-publishing. Four of my books are now available for sale since summer 2010. Expect two or three in 2012, dependent on whether I can get various pieces in place. In the past 17 months, I've spent so much more time than I ever expected on the books I have produced, with scant attention on the manuscript I'd like to finish. The concept of completing a manuscript just so I can sell the book makes me queasy; I swear, my stomach just tied in knots as I wrote that line. If there is one negative aspect of self-publishing , it's that it has changed how I view writing. What used to be a joy is now a chore; one more thing than has to be done in an otherwise busy day. I can't wait to type "The End" so I can be done with the damned thing, yet I dread all that comes afterward. I don't like feeling that way. I want to get back to the place where I loved to write, just for the sake of telling a good story. I plan to get back to the joy of just writing, one morning at a time. 

6 comments:

Michelle Gregory said...

good.

Sophie Perinot said...

When writing becomes a business rather than a hobby it certainly changes things. I know just what you mean. With my debut out in March I have deadlines on my next book and on the days it doesn't flow I can become a tad (how shall I put this delicately) frantic. But I have every faith that I will find my joyous rhythm again and so will you :)

N. Gemini Sasson said...

I hear you loud and clear. Every once in awhile, you have to take a step back, recapture the joy. I found that turning off my word count helped a LOT.

History and Women said...

Stop the madness, I say. I struggle with not being able to write enough too. I think social networking takes up far too much time. I long for the days when authors could just simply write without having to update blogs, facebook, twitter, critique groups, and write articles or book reviews.

How you are managing to write on a bus fascinates me.

We need to get back to the basics so that writing is a joy once more.

Lisa Yarde said...

I'm amazed that so many of us share this experience, across genres and whether traditional or self-publishing. I don't even have children that need my attention as some of you do. Here's hoping we all find ways to balance our love of writing with the business side of publication.

Michelle Gregory said...

love the new blog background.

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