From what I’ve experienced and what I hear from other writers, writing is not always a choice–sometimes it’s a compulsion. Sometimes, the muse doesn’t just descend–sometimes she comes down and throws a tantrum until you do what she says.
For me, writing is addictive. (Hence the reason I have so many blogs! Running tally: 4 at last count.) I start writing, and I will stay up until 4 in the morning until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Especially if it’s coming easily and the story’s going in a pretty good direction.
Publishing books, even independently, has made this experience even more intense. Now, I have a new goal with my writing. Before, I was just writing to write. The stories in my head needed to be told, whether they were any good or not. My only tentative goal was to finish a story and write “the end”.
Now, I not only have to finish a story. I have to edit it and revise it and agonize over it until it’s really finished–not just over, but complete. And after I finish editing, I have to design a cover and change the formatting to prepare it for publishing. What a difference a few months make!
Right now, I am a busy little writing bee. I’m doing freelance marketing and social media for a friend, which is my technical “job”, as well as working on my writing: plugging my new book–A 21st Century Fairy Tale (Buy it today on Amazon!)–and writing a new story when all the other work is done for the day. I still sleep, but I’m up all day doing this stuff. It’s awesome.
Current works in progress:
- Marketing Realistically Yours
- Marketing A 21st Century Fairy Tale
- Writing my new book–a science fiction-y contemporary novel about mind and memory manipulation (that’s all I’ll say yet :)
On the to-do list
- Edit a girl-in-the-big-city story I wrote a couple years ago to publish (not NYC this time!)
- Finish writing an action/conspiracy story I started last year or the year before and never finished
- Edit the action/conspiracy story’s predecessor story which is already finished
- The NaNoWriMo countdown is on: only 51 days until November! And I don’t have a new story idea yet!
- And a partridge in a pear tree
While I am probably still writing mostly for myself, just to write, it’s motivating to have the opportunity to share it with the world through self-publishing. It’s something I never would have thought possible ten or even five years ago. I assumed my stories would go unpublished, many still handwritten, in a drawer somewhere for all time. Now, self-publishing is so easy, almost anybody can do it. That has its caveats as well, but that’s another topic for another day.
Although writing really can take over your life, the need to tell those stories can be so strong sometimes, I think it’s a worthwhile obsession/compulsion. You are still fulfilling that innate desire to create, whether that creation is any good or not.
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