Plodding . . . er, Plotting Along
Would you believe that I once wrote a book in six days? Yep. I did. A contemporary romance that was sold and published. I was much younger and much hungrier back then. I was still working as a newspaper reporter and I wrote my novels every weekday from around 8 p.m. until 1 or 2 a.m. On weekends, I was at it all day and most of the night.
Those days are long gone. For many years I wrote three or four books a year. Now? I write one or two a year and it seems like I'm getting slower and slower at it. But I'm retired, so I should be doing less work, right? I tell myself that I should retire from writing, but how does one do that? I believe the only way that will happen for me is to be physically/mentally unable to continue writing. While I'm taking my fine, old time writing these days, I still feel like I should write. When I don't, I feel guilty and lazy! My characters intrude on my thoughts and new scenes pop into my head. It's like the characters are prodding me, urging me back to the computer to flesh out those skeletal scenes.
Writing still amuses me. For example, I had a ball writing "The Chosen One." I loved the main characters and their situation. It was a joy to write that one. The book I'm writing now hasn't been a joy ride, but it's been illuminating. I get something out of every book I write. Sometimes it's discovery, sometimes it's giggles, and sometimes it's a lesson in determination. (As in, I'm determined to finish writing this book!) I'm always thinking that the next one I write will be even better than the one I'm writing. The old "the grass is always greener" trap!
I've been on a contemporary romance kick for a couple of years, but I think I will write another historical western after I've finished the contemporary I'm writing now. After watching 1883 on television, I'm inspired. Taylor Sheridan is a superb writer. Some of his narrative in that show brought tears to my eyes. It's funny how inspiration can pounce out of nowhere like that, but I'm glad it does. I've never been at a loss for what to write next. I'm always locked and loaded, ready to plot the next one and maybe even the one after that! So, I might have slowed way down, but I'm not out of gas yet.
Slow and steady wins the race and gets the book written these days.