Career or J. O. B.?

8 04 2013

I don’t know how some of my friends do it. Brenda Novak, James Owen, Oli Hille all make writing look so easy. They crank out several books a year and I look at the manuscripts sitting partially written in front of me and I cringe. How can you possibly have so much inspiration that stories just flow from your fingertips, or in the case of Ollie, practical knowledge just flows?

I have days where I can’t wait to get to my desk and start in on a story.  But most days, the opposite is true.  I sit in front of my computer and stare at the screen wondering where the story line is going, what should come next, what is this character going to do and how will these characters react in response.  It’s maddening because most days, I can think of a million and one things I’d rather be doing than beating my head against a book.

What is their secret, I have to wonder.  How is it that James, the most dedicated writer I know, can go to his office and write day in and day out and NEVER (or hardly ever) come up against brick walls in his stories?  My stories seem to be riddled with such walls.

How is it that Brenda can manage to write two or more books at a time and I can’t focus on one long enough to get it to the halfway point? I maybe have 1/3 of a story in two of my manuscripts and just a few pages in the third. I can’t write in one without a thought popping up that pertains to one of the others. It was like this with my first two books as well, which could explain why Fatal Compulsions took almost two years to write.

I love my work as an author…don’t get me wrong. But most days, it seems more J. O. B. (a word I detest) than a career I enjoy, especially when I can’t get the stories moving in the direction they should go. What is the secret?  If it’s a magic pill, I wonder if any of my writer friends is willing to hook me up? Brenda? Oli? James? What say ye?

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