Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The (Solitary) Writing LIfe

I've decided that writing is lonely work. This may sound odd as I am almost never alone. Five kids and a husband tend to fill a house. The thing is, when I taught, I had curriculum to go by. Books that laid out the daily lessons that had to be imparted to my students. There was always someone in the classroom next door doing the exact same thing I was, and at the end of the day, we'd chat as we planned and graded papers.

Writing is different.

Writing is a about sitting down and crafting a story...alone. Sure, I sometimes brainstorm with my husband or family. Sure, I have friends who are in the same line of work, who are sitting down writing their books, crafting their stories the same way I am writing and crafting mine. Sure, we chat about our projects and moan about our uncooperative characters.

But, when push comes to shove, it is just me and this computer and a ream of paper waiting to be filled. And sometimes I wonder if I can do it again. If I can write another book, craft another tale, create another character. I wonder if I'm on the right path, if this is really where God wants me to be and what He wants me to be doing.

Because no matter how much I know this is the right thing at the right time, sometimes it is lonely being an author. Sometimes, I long to sit down with other mothers and chat over coffee and cookies while our kids play outside and not have stories swimming around in my head while I'm doing it. Not be imagining stalkers and spies and all manner of villains hidden near by and be wondering exactly how I can fit each one into a story. Not be wondering what my heroine will do next, how she will escape, when she will finally realize that love truly does cover a multitude of sins.

It is not that I don't love what I do, but writing is not simply about doing what I love. It has become more than that. It has become part of who I am. As inherent as my blue eyes and brown hair.

But, then, maybe that is what made me an author in the first place. A need to be alone. To enjoy solitude of thought and of creation.

Today, I'm working on my art fact sheet for the second book in my Heroes for Hire Miniseries. I've also got 2000 words of the manuscript to write. It's good work. Fun.

And, sometimes, just a little bit lonely.

In the ends, I suppose that is exactly the way I like it!


Sabrina L. Fox said...

Just this morning I was thinking how fortunate we are that we live in the era we do. Can you imagine how much more lonely it would have been before phones and computers? Social networks?

A time when most writers didn't know another writer and never got to talk about craft together. How sad.

Still, you're right. It's very solitary. It takes a very disciplined person to be able to work in a field where your progress and success is completely in your hands. At least for the most part. :0/

Shirlee McCoy said...

I was thinking about you the other day! I see that you're getting ready to send in another proposal. I'm really hopeful that this will be THE ONE.