On writing even if you don’t think you’re “ready.”

CC retro typewriter image without attribution requirement
CC image without attribution requirement

When I tell people I’m a writer, sometimes they say “I want to write a book one day, and I will, when I’m ready. ”

Here’s the thing, though: it’s unlikely that you’ll ever feel “ready”.

The only folk I have met who felt ready to write had two things in common:

  • they wanted to write a memoir
  • they were overweening narcissists

Now just so it’s been said:

#notallmemoirwriters
#narcissistsarepeopletoo
#chloeisn’trightabouteverythingyaknow

If you wait until you feel ready you might end up like me, a dummy who took 12 years to write a novel. Don’t be a dummy.

So even if you choose to disregard everything else I say, consider this:

You are mortal. As you are dying, do you want to regret all the books you didn’t write? 

COUNTDOWN: 12 Reasons It Took Me 12 Years to Write a Novel

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These are my reasons, they may or may not resonate for you . . .

12. Not certain about what I wanted to say, at least at first

11. Stuck inside the tropes and cliches of urban fantasy, not sure how to write my way out of them

10. Writer’s block (aka panic, anxiety and so on)

9. Not having a writing schedule

8. Not sticking to my writing schedule

7. Going more than three days without writing

6. Certain about opening, certain about ending, uncertain about the mushy middle.

5. Allowing myself to get distracted by Life (secret belief: if I sacrifice my writing practice on the altar of the problem of the moment, the problem will go away and I will *finally* have time and peace of mind to write.) Nope nope nope. Wrongo. The truth is is that life is life, I am me, and those facts are immutable. So write or don’t-write, but forget about me trying to change Life or trying to change my essential nature.

4. Trying advice from all kinds of writers, let them get inside my head such that I thought I was “doing it wrong”. That slowed productivity to a mere crawl.

3. Working 80 hour weeks from 2009 – 2016. stupid stupid girl.

2. Over-ambitious timetable and scheduling leading to overwhelm, overwhelm leading to procrastination, the gnashing of teeth, and yet more writer’s block.

1. Loving writing so much I thought it had to be perfect. Then I found out that “perfect” kills dreams.

Well . . .

A few things to know:

For a couple of years I was working “J-O-B-S” to pay the bills and give me some emotional energy for writing.

At the end of Summer 2018 I returned to my (emotionally demanding + weird hours required) profession.

Consequently, writing (incl. blogging) has sloooooowed down.

But it hasn’t stopped. (Go me!)

Right now I’m working on:

  • The Blood Rain sequel, Blood Down the Bones
  • A YA novella called Gaia Shrugged
  • A second volume of short stories in the Fables series

In other news, my publisher, Filidh Publishing, advises that Blood Rain is no longer available on Amazon. Apparently this is because of recent US legislation that has had a chilling effect on  what kind of books Internet bookstores feel comfortable offering. It’s easier for them to simply not carry certain titles than it is to fight the power.

Apparently the child trafficking theme in Blood Rain is a no-no. For the record, I’m against child trafficking. That should be pretty obvious to anyone who actually reads the book.  That said, keyword searches for (what some think of as) objectionable content are not context-sensitive, so it would seem the fact that child trafficking is a theme is a problem, regardless of the frame placed on it by yours truly.

Trying to figure out work-arounds. *sigh*

Uh . . . runs in the family, I guess?

My adult daughter, who is also a writer and visual artist, sent me this. She knows me well. Apparently the weirdness and desire to kick at the daylight until it bleeds darkness is genetic.

It has given me several interesting ideas for short stories, so down the rabbit hole I go.

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ABOUT THE FEATURED IMAGE: to my knowledge, the featured image is an archival photo of no recorded authorship, nor is it under any copyright. If you know something I don’t, tell me and I’ll take it down, cite the photographer, or whatever else is needed.

Writing is Weird

There I am, sitting at my desk, working away on the sequel to Blood Rain, working title Blood Down the Bones.

Beautiful summer day, not too hot, gentle breeze, nicely sheltered from my mortal enemy, the sun. Cat sleeping on his perch nearby, spouse tending me with cups of hot and iced coffee. Perfect writing day, yes?

I finally make a decision I’ve been mulling for a few weeks, whether to kill off a certain character from Blood Rain.

I draft the scene.

Then I am overwhelmed with sadness. I had actual tears in my eyes. Sheesh.

like the character I just murdered, and didn’t want to kill them, but it was the only way to move certain pieces into place in the sequel.

How does George RR Martin cope? I don’t know. Is he a secret (or not-so-secret) sadist?

R.I.P. imperfect but noble character, you died a good death. I’m sorry I had to murderize you. And in such a pitiless, horrible way, too. The motherfuckers. How dare they do this to you?!

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Photo by Simone Dalmeri, used under a CC licence. I salute you as well, generous photographer