Monday, February 1, 2010

The Joys of Writing

Okay, so I am erratic about blogging but I do enjoy it. The good news is that of late I have no time for it because I'm actually writing new stuff. What a concept! The Book in a Week challenge the last week of the year booted me back to the old writing discipline I used to have. I cranked 142 pages that week, most of which were really, really good pages, which finished that book and got the muse excited about starting the next one in the series. So now I'm over 100 pages into the new project and still wanting to face the blank page every day.

That has its drawbacks. It means I am less enthusiastic about the daily grind of making a living. I do not and will not let clients down, but I am remembering why I love to write, and how much fun it is, and how much I would rather be doing that all day, every day.

Writing, if you are not a writer, is an incomprehensible exercise in rejection coupled with continuing feelings of inadequacy. Yet we sit down every day and pull words from thin air and plop them on the page, knowing we will probably never get rich, or even famous, or even moderately well known.

That actually sucks.

Fortunately, the writing process saves us. I look forward every single day to finding out what my characters are going to do next. I don't actually know. I'm not one of those writers who sits down and sketches out everything in advance. What falls onto the page falls onto the page and somehow my subconscious, which is rather brilliant at putting patterns together (judging by my grades in school and the work I used to do for various and sundry agencies) manages to make a coherent plot out of it in the end. Sometimes the characters run off and do things unexpected, that I had not the vaguest notion of them doing. Usually that improves the plot rather than otherwise. At any rate, it makes it fun and exciting to sit down to that blank page every day. If I had to write to an outline, it would be just like being chained to a client's requirements. I can do it, even do it exceedingly well, but it's not as fun as turning the characters loose to play.

I am always amazed by where the words come from. I don't know. They just arrive, and I am grateful for all of them. I have always been able to turn the tap on and off at will, though some days it takes a little longer for the trickle to start, but eventually it always turns into a flood. Words are my friends, my enemies, and my constant companions. Without them I would not be who I am. I am a writer, and glad of it. So there!

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