Friday, July 19, 2013
On Writing ROUGH MAGIC
With ROUGH MAGIC out for four months now, I have a little time to reflect upon its writing. I did a lot of great interviews and enjoyed a HUGE amount of support from folks in the writing community, as well as gained a few fans. I suspect I'll realize some things down the road, some introspective thoughts about my growth as a writer, at which point I might have another update. But for now, I will tell you two things.
Writing a novel sucks. Writing a novel is wonderful.
Of course, I'm leaning toward the "it's wonderful" direction. The bad can be summed up as a feeling of never-ending mental slogging. It's like doing homework every day for months, even if you are having some fun doing it. If you work a day job or have kids, the mental stress doubles and you must struggle just to find time to write. It will test the hell out of your patience, and make you question yourself every day. Surely, there are better things to do? Things that provide more immediate rewards.
Then again, I'm the kind of guy who puts a lot of pressure on themselves. Just how I am.
And then you hit one of those days where things seem to be sailing along nicely: the words are effortless, your goal is within sight, and there's big, fat snowflakes falling quietly outside your window.
If someone were to ask me what other lesson I learned in writing this book (and what lesson I would take moving forward), it would be that a better use of my time and less "fiddling around" would help. Once you start a novel, and if you are serious about it, the novel doesn't go away. It sits there in the back of your mind while you play video games or hit the pub, telling you what a shitty person you are for leaving it unattended. I stretched the writing of ROUGH MAGIC out over a year or more, with some months doing no writing at all. I would have been better served hunkering down for three or four months and getting it done. I could have done better, and I will from now on.
But I suppose, if it were that easy, anyone could do it.
One thing I would like to express to the world is my gratitude. I've met so many great writers (via the interwebz) because of this book, enough to make my head spin. And I suppose this is what my first year in the "biz" is all about. Absorbing everything, enjoying the successes as they come. Learning from all the great reviews (and some not so great)...
Getting older and having slight health issues (as well as watching some good people die around me) has led me to never take life for granted. As much as I'm a proactive, I realize this existence can end at any time. I'm so grateful to have had a good life, with good friends, and ended up in a great spot in life. I've found my true calling, and I'm excelling at it. I have only one book out...but WOW, does it feel good.
Well, that's all I have for now. THE TINKERMAGE and THE TEN THOUSAND THINGS (Dead West II) are up next.