Wednesday, April 27, 2016

So, What do You Write?

Photo: Luis Llerena via
When I first started writing, I wrote nonfiction. Exclusively. I worked on one article at a time and never had to worry about getting characters or story lines confused.

When I began trying my hand at fiction, it was as part of a writing class. I worked on one piece at a time, and the stories were short. I had a job and a small child, and I wrote in small snippets of time during which it was easy to keep one story straight, whether it was fiction, non-fiction or an essay.

Novels came later, and since I still had the job and the child, I continued to work in snippets of time. Though I spent most of my writing time working on my novel-in-progress, I found time to work on articles over the summer, and even occasionally during the school year. Somewhere along the way, I picked up blogging, and started working that in, too.

When I retired, one of my goals was to blog on a regular basis. Four years later, I have a weekly schedule I stick to, writing five to six blogs each week and posting Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in three different locations.

That's when it got complicated.

Some days, I blog ahead of time so that my posts are all ready to go on their assigned days. Other days, I'm still figuring out what I want to write about early -- or even later -- in the day, and the blogs hang over my head until I write and post them. Once they're finished, I have time for discretionary writing.

When that time rolls around, I sometimes have trouble figuring out what I want to write. Right now, for example, I'm working on new story for one novel, revisions on a second and the occasional non-fiction article for one of the online or print publications that regularly accepts my work. Some days, one project is foremost in my mind, so that's where I put my energies. Other days, they jockey for position or, worse yet, refuse to be prodded into submission like so many unruly teenagers.

I told the barista -- a fellow writer --
that I was going to work
on revisions. 
Eventually, as most parents/supervisors do, I manage to coerce one of them into cooperation and actually make
progress. Sometimes, I need to leave home to do this.

Most writers I know work on multiple projects -- some simultaneously, others sequentially. Tomorrow, you'll meet my friend Rachel, who's primarily a novelist, but has also just put together an adult coloring book that fits with the theme of her soon-to-be-released novel. A talented illustrator, Rachel divides her time among a number of writing and illustrating projects -- and several pseudonyms as well. I don't know how she does it all. (Maybe she'll tell us tomorrow).

So, when you ask a writer what she writes, don't be surprised if the answer is "a little bit of everything." Unless she's famous, chances are good that she divvies her available time up among a number of projects, perhaps feeling as though she never really has enough time for any of them. Who knows? Maybe famous writers do this, too.

Perhaps some day I'll find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment