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Every night I wish that I would wake up the next morning and have the magical ability to make my books write themselves. I would simply stare at my computer screen intensely, like a television superhero—maybe wiggle my nose or point my finger at my temple for good measure—and the perfect words to express my ideas would materialize on-screen. Yet another morning has arrived, and I'm still disappointingly earthly.

I have several unfinished projects going on at once. I set aside WIP to write my short stories, and then one of the short stories broke out of its bounds and turned itself into WIP-B. WIP-B has taken precedence over WIP because I'm now "in the zone." The 1890s zone, that is. And I'm pretty sure once I return to the modern world I'll forget all the little quirks of history I've been immersing myself in, so I have to get it all down before I lose it.

Unfortunately, my increased sense of urgency from this fact, coupled with my resolution to at least finish the first draft by my twenty-fourth birthday, has made it more difficult to actually write. My brain has long left the physical manuscript in the dust. I know exactly what the piece should say, and how it should say it, but all that exists is a frustratingly blank document that will not do what I ask of it.

I read on another blog this morning, over my peanut butter & jelly oatmeal, the following bit of "buck-up-there:"

"In order to be an author we have to be optimists. How else could we spend a year, two or more of our time writing a book?"

Also in order to be an author we have to pay attention to the cardinalities of our subjects, unless We are imbued with the divine right of kings. But the principle point is not whether, as writers, we may refer to ourselves in the majestic plural, but that reading that time estimate for the completion of a novel made me balk. Several years to complete a single book? One year, I can understand, if you have kids and a job or you're writing some epic piece. Two may be acceptable if you're the next James Joyce. But more?

Since I have neither kids nor a job, and I resemble James Joyce as closely as I do Britney Spears, it should not take me that long to write a book. At my current skill level, I should be able to wrap one up in entirety in about six months. That allows for four months of writing between 500-1000 words per day on average—some more, some less, with review and rest days—and another two to let it simmer and conduct several rounds of review and editing. And frankly, even this seems awfully slow. When I have more practice, I hope to be able to finish three per year. And no, this doesn't mean that I'll just be turning out trash for the sake of putting stuff in my store; it means I'll be closer to wielding that magical power to express myself without all of this difficulty and personal drama in my way.

Being of a generally impatient nature, I have to constantly fight myself to be content with works that seem eternally "in progress." Sometimes I indulge in celebration over tiny victories to soothe myself. For example, I do have two short romances for adults waiting in the wings, and yesterday Sweetie and I made the covers for them to sell for 99¢ each while I continue my WIPs.

The ArrangementThe Mistress

I <3 the Library of Congress. Yay pre-1923 public domain images! And Photoshop, and Sweetie for knowing some nifty tricks to tailor those public domain images into story-specific, cover-sized ones (for fun, you can look at the original for "The Arrangement" and marvel at the magic we performed on it).

Also, I have as of this morning sold two, yes, two whole copies of Bubbles Pop. If nothing else, I will owe the federal government taxes on that $6 in royalties come April 2013. One step at a time.


Anonymous (February 21, 2012, 10:16 am)

nice! the(re-)arrangement. This "difficulty and personal drama" are a real part of the process, so don't fight it too much.

(Will not be shown)

What is the first letter of "Maine"?