The Heart of my Obsession

For those who stop by this blog regularly, thank you for your continued support. Thank you for not giving up on me even when I go a few days without blogging. Like this past week for instance. Blame it on lack of time and energy. Blame it on a lack of something interesting to say because all of my brain juice is going into the deadline book.

I won't bore you with my manic work schedule. Lots of published authors, writers writing under contract, work day jobs. I'm not unique. Some of them even have children to care for. I can't imagine. I'm lucky I have a husband who cooks for himself and doesn't mind that the house is a semi-disaster zone. It allows me to spend an insane amount of time holed up in my writing room. Last Saturday through Tuesday (my days off from the library) I wrote 12-14 hours a day. The days I do have to 'work', I write before and after. Yesterday, I doubled--library then an emcee gig. But I still managed to produce some pages while on the gig.

You'd think, given all of the hours devoted to writing, that I'd be done with this current book by now. I'm not. But the good news is, I'm getting there. I remember reading on another author's blog, an NYT Bestseller, that she devotes two hours every day to writing. Given that she had three releases scheduled six months apart, I'm thinking, seeing she only writes (on the average) two hours a day, she is one freaking fast writer! I thought about a couple of other writers I know who produce a novel in one month. Granted they are 'outline' writers who spend months before brainstorming and stewing, plotting and outlining. Still... Wow.

I am not a fast writer. I'm not a fast typist either--self-taught. Detailed outlines stifle my creativity. I have to get in there and do it. Live with the characters. Trust my instints and allow the story to develop naturally--through them. This takes time. Due to tight deadlines and the day job, time is limited. Since I'm not a fast writer this means pulling long hours. This means I get a little intense and obsessive and other things in life fall through the cracks.

I keep telling myself there's got to be a better way and at some point I'll figure it out. Meanwhile the only thing I can do is press forward as is. At least there is progress. There is growth. In the writing itself. In my career. As Nora Roberts often says--and I love this--it's not the right way, it's my way. This is why you won't see me blogging or teaching a workshop on craft. There is no method to my madness.

I can imagine some of you shaking your head, thinking, if you're not a fast writer, why did you commit to tight deadlines? Good question. Answer: It was a business decision. I have a dream, a goal, and I won't rest until I achieve it. Also, immersing myself in these stories doesn't exactly make me miserable. *g* I love what I do. I love the art of storytelling.

I write because I am driven to do so. Because it brings me joy. Because it challenges my mind. I write because it is the ultimate rush when a reader tells me that I touched them in some way. Making a positive difference in someone's life. That is the heart of my obsession.

So tell me, friends. What's at the heart of your obsession?


Anna Lucia said…
Stories are the heart of my obsession, and not just in writing. I see the stories in life, in work, in relationships and I celebrate them. They're magic and alchemy, miraculous and marvellous.

Hmmm. Maybe I need to write that down somewhere!

Keep going, Beth, you can do it! And as long as you've found YOUR way, you're doing well. Just humour me, and drink plenty of water, get up and stretch at least every hour, and get some fruit and veg into your system.... Every little helps, right?

Fuel your mind and body for success!

Go Beth!
Beth Ciotta said…
Your love of stories in daily life are reflected in many of your blog posts, Anna. I adore that about you. :)

Thanks for the shout of support. I had a salad last night for dinner and a glass of orange/mango juice. Does that count as my veggies and fruit? ;)
Bethany said…
Girl... it has been OVER a week since I last posted on my own blog! ;-)

I'll stick around, I swear...

And for me. I jump into my stories much like you do. I have to *feel* the story, make it right, and then write it. And sometimes that takes 8 versions of the first 40K words (yep, that's what my next book did). And--like you--I make deadlines based on business reasons. And I am trying to live the life of a published writer even though I am still far from it. So one day, maybe, I can write and soley write to make my living.

So--you and I--share the whole lot of the same issues too. No free time, constantly battling our muse... it is all part of process right? ;-)
Gabriele C. said…
Since I'm the Grand Master of Procrastination (and I have the gnome to prove it), I'll just post a link to Miss Snark who said it better than I could anyway. :)

I love writing. It just doesn't go along well with deadlines. *grin*
Beth Ciotta said…
Sounds like we're traveling the same road, Bethany. Hang in there!!

Gabriele, thanks for the links. Love the gnome. A creation of Constnace's, eh? Should've known. ;)
Anna Lucia said…
That definitely counts, Beth!

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