Tuesday, March 3, 2009

writer's hours

I've been reading bits and pieces of various craft books lately for inspiration and advice, including Lawrence Block's Telling Lies for Fun and Profit. Today I was reading his chapter on writer's hours, and all the things that "count" as work and not-work to his writing mind. Bascially, nothing REALLY counts as work except writing—not editing, not revising, not reading, not correspondence with editors, not (he didn't say but I am certain he'd agree) blogging. And it's true, I am sorry to say. Even though it's all necessary and important, it still doesn't feel like Work with a capital W unless pages are being produced and word counts are growing. Fitting that I should read that chapter today, when I spent way too much time playing around with making the Dragon of Trelian countdown widget you can now see at the top right of my blog's main page. I won't even mention all the additional time I wasted trying to get the damn thing to work in Facebook. (It never did; I finally gave up.)

As much as I share Block's feeling about only writing counting as, you know, writing, I am trying to relax that mentality just enough to let me feel good about all the background and figuring-out work I've been doing on my novel-in-progress. Because all that stuff really is essential right now, and I can't move ahead with writing until I get some things figured out. But I hate that there's no way to measure it, really. I can't add it to my pages/word count log, can't brag to anyone about what a great writing day I had, can't point to anything concrete as the fruit of my labor. I know it's important. It is. I just have to try and remember that while retaining just enough of that uncomfortable this-doesn't-count feeling to help speed me along to where I'll be ready for the actual word and page accumulation to begin again.

By the way:

Finally updated "where I'll be" with upcoming festivals, etc.

Also, check out my friend and classmate Janet Fox's interview on Cynsations!

And today is the release of fellow VCFA'er Julie Berry's debut novel, The Amaranth Enchantment!


  1. Wow! I've got to say that I think outlining, "figuring out," editing, and revising are all harder than raw writing. Writing is fun. The other stuff is definitely counts as work in my book. Be nice to you!!!

  2. Well I love the widget and it reminds me to tell you that our copy has two highly competitive book marks in it. And I tried really hard last night to read over his shoulder while in bed, but my arms lost the battle with gravity trying to keep my page open. We love it!

  3. Thanks, Rachel. :) I mean, it sure does FEEL like work, but I hate the lack of tangible work evidence.

    And Madeleine - so excited that you're liking the book!! You guys are among the select few with advance reading copies. :) Can't wait until it's out in the world for real on April 14! Please tell B to feel free to recommend it to any other nice young fantasy readers he knows... or their parents...

  4. Hey - Mikki - thanks for the "ping"! I have to send you those questions for my blog...I'm excited to see your book, soon!