"That John Denver is full of shit, man."

And so are the people who said writing a book is a piece of cake.

When people find out I’m a writer, they say one of a handful of things–after the “Really? That’s cool”:

1-“So do you practice the scenes in your novel with your husband, or what?” (By the creepy eyebrow raises, you’d know immediately what kind of scenes they’re asking about.)
*To which I answer “No more than the murder scenes.” If we “practiced” the scenes in the books I’ve written, Husband should be deathly afraid of water, caves, alleys in San Francisco and women with dark curly hair. *ahem

Or:

2-“I have this fantastic idea for a book! Do you want to hear it so you can write it for me?”
*To which I enthusiastically listen to an unbelievable and totally awesome story line about which I have no desire to write myself. The idea may be the best thing I’ve ever heard, but if it’s not originally mine, I won’t do the book justice.

Believe it or not, I’ve also heard a naive few say:

“It must be pretty easy to stay home and sit in front of the computer for hours on end and write, huh? Especially with an English degree.”

Wait…

Easy and Write should NEVER be in the same sentence.

I kinda thought this writing gig would get easier over time, when in fact, I think it’s the opposite. Stakes raise. You’ve learned how to make your book shine. Now you have to put the proof in the pudding. People (your agent and editor) are depending on your book being The Best Thing You’ve Ever Written. (Or at the very least, better than the last one you wrote which got you representation in the first place.) Pressure builds. Because not only do you have to write your heart out, applying every single thing you’ve learned over the course of your writing journey, you now have to do it quickly. Of the four books I’ve written, it’s never taken me longer than four months to write a book and another month to edit it…but can I guarantee that for the next one? No. I can’t. But I have to. So I will.

Whoever said writing a book was easy was full of shit, man.

I have the third book in the Crimson Bay Series plotted out. Mostly. I introduced the hero and heroine in Book 2. I know them. I like them. I know what they want, and what has to happen to make sure getting what they want is the most difficult thing for them to accomplish. Well, I sort of know that. And even though I know where my story is inevitably going to end up, and what my turning points are along the way, that starkly white first page is still daunting as heck. I thought about writing page one, line one today…then decided to clean out my refrigerator instead.

Whoever said writing a book was easy was full of shit, man.

Whether I jump into Book 3 the next day, or the day after that, I know one thing for certain: it never gets easier. Writing is hard. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the insecure. It’s not for the weak-minded or feeble-willed. Even though I feel that way from time to time…especially when faced with the impatiently blinking cursor…

Beginning…starting out…this…is the hardest part for me.

What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you?

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