Saturday, October 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

In three days, the annual madness that is National Novel Writing Month will start. As I have for the past three years, this year I will be working on a novel in my African Violet Club mystery series. This will be the first original writing I’ve done in 2016 (other than blog posts) and it feels strange to say that.

Because I had the three AVC books in first draft form, my priority this year has been to revise and publish them. That’s what I did, but it left little time for writing new fiction. Okay, it left no time for writing new fiction. So this week I hunkered down in earnest to plan book four.

I heard the cogs in my brain screeching as they fought to break the binds of the accumulated rust. There was a period of time when I thought I might not be able to write another book. However, I know that Agatha Christie and Tess Gerritson each felt the same way before starting and that the only way to find out was to try, so I picked up my pen and notebook and started writing things down.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

How Not To Be A Writer

I am a sucker for anything that sounds like it will make me a better writer. I love to read writing craft books. I love taking classes. And, lately, I find myself attending all kinds of free webinars, most of which exist because someone wants to sell you a course, but they often have a few nuggets of information that make them worthwhile.

The one I went to yesterday did not have a single nugget in it, unless it occurred during the last half of the presentation, because I decided I didn’t want to waste any more of my precious time.

This webinar seductively played on the myth of writer as author. Almost everyone wants to be an author. They have an idea for a book and long to be able to point to copies of this book on their shelves as they tell their friends and relatives, “In my book…” There’s some kind of cachet about being able to call yourself an author.

But very few people actually sit down and write the book, much less go through all the hard work that makes it something worth publishing so that other people will read it. They’ll talk about their book all the time as something they’re going to do “someday.” When they run into a published writer, they’ll suggest that they’ll tell the writer their idea for a book so the writer can write it. Then they’ll split the profits. What the wannabe author doesn’t realize is that ideas are easy. Writing a book is hard.