Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Why Writers Write

The Guppies listserv, a branch of Sister in Crime for those who are "going to be published," has been running a series of comments from "pre-published" authors answering questions such as where are you on your work in progress, is this your first manuscript, what's hardest for you--plotting, characterization, etc., and what do you do when you get discouraged. The answers are all over the place--some people are on their first manuscript, others have old ones stacked in the deep freeze. Many find plotting hard (me among them) but for others it's simply finding the time to write--or the drive--or the energy. But the thing that has struck me is that so many have said things like, "I like my characters. I want to stick with them," or "I am not healthy if I don't write--I have to go into therapy" or "I can't imagine not writing." One woman said she writes e-mails, blogs, anything to be creative if she's stuck on a story.
I know exactly how they feel. If I don't have something on my desk to write, I'm at loose ends. I'm fortunate right now to have two projects: the novel in progress and the nonfiction book. Lately I've been concentrating on the latter, but since Fred Erisman re-read my novel (about half a novel) and  decided his earlier questions were irrelevant and he "is hooked," I feel myself being drawn back to the novel and its possibilities. I'll have lunch with him Friday, and I'm sure we'll talk about it.
When people ask my why I blog, it's the same answer--it's a chance to write to the world. I have long felt that working things out in words is the same as a mathematician working things out in number. I just can't, God help me, do anything but the most elementary math.

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