I was in the Book Cellar today on York Avenue here in Gotham (NYC) checking out the shelves as I do most Saturday mornings. I’ve found a lot of great reference material there, plus I enjoy the people and the atmosphere. Everyone there is there because of books. This morning I was also dropping off a signed copy of Of Bone And Thunder which the store (non-profit) will sell to support the public library (which is located above them…which I probably should have mentioned sooner).
So, a woman asked me about writing and if I do it every day. Ha! Seriously, ha! I wanted to say I wish, but I’m not certain I do wish I wrote every day. The fact is, I’m a dreamer, a grinder, and every once in a while, a flyer. A good chunk of my writing is not writing, but dreaming (visualizing if you will) a scene complete with dialogue. I can do entire chapters that way. I’m not a plotter in the sense that I write this stuff down in point form or summaries. Whenever I’ve tried that I become bored. Instead, I play it out in my head, see it, see the scenery, the sky, where the characters are standing, what they are saying etc. It gives me a three dimensional sense of the space and how the characters are interacting in it. It’s also fun. It’s free-flowing and vibrant, but it’s still only in my head at this point.
And so the grind begins. I’m not saying all writing is a grind, but in my attempt to transcribe my vision into words that will invoke the vision I have in my head in yours, I write, and rewrite and repeat. Just to give you a small example, I came up with several hundred different titles for Of Bone And Thunder. My guess is that for every page in the book, there is one that didn’t make it. This process can be exhausting at times, and frustrating, and lead to a sense of despair. So much so that I won’t write for weeks. What saves me and the books is when I fly.
Flying is when the ideas flow like the wind. When I’m not just writing fast, but well, and inspired. Suddenly, everything fits, and everything makes sense. I’ve laughed out loud, I’ve teared up, I’ve even growled as I wrote. The state of euphoria I enter transcends time (I swear hours have flown by in mere minutes). It’s more than a book going on sale or a subrights deal. That feeling is why I love to write. It’s possible that it’s why I need to write, but that’s an area of my psyche I haven’t yet fully explored.
All that being the case, I would nonetheless like to write more consistently. Of Bone And Thunder took three years. I’m planning to write my next novel in a year to a year and a half. As I resigned from my full-time job last year I will now be able to devote more time to dreaming, grinding and flying, so hopefully the books will start coming a whole lot faster.