If you had told me three years ago that writing would become all consuming, I probably would have said, "Good!" After all, I'd just spent 25 years not writing, or trying to write and only coming up with the first few pages of a story.
So, yeah, the goal was to incubate the writing. To get writing.
I had a bit of slow start, but about six months in I forced myself to finish my first book. I gave it to a couple of beta readers who didn't much like it. I had to take a second look, and realized they were right. Anyway, I floundered with this book (still am 3 years later, though in some ways it is still my favorite story and I intend to finish it one way or another.)
Then came what I think of as the miracle year when I was so engrossed in writing, I barely poked my head out the door. That was fine, that was fun, and it is particularly impressive to me because I had no indication at the time whether it was going to do me the slightest good.
I call it the miracle year because it was purely for the love of writing.
The very next book gave me a clue, then the next book really got me rolling, and the book right after that was Led to the Slaughter which I thought was pretty good. Then The Vampire Evolution trilogy, which I also thought was pretty good.
At the end of the year I had so much material I thought I should reach out, and it's been more complicated ever since. Lots of attention must be paid to practical matters like rewriting, copy-editing, covers, uploading, marketing, reviews, social media, publishers, you know, the actual books.
Occasionally I still break off from the business aspects to do the pure writing. Tuskers came to me in a rush, and I loved it, and I thought it turned out exactly as I intended.
So by now, if you had asked me 3 years ago, I would have expected to slow down, but now the momentum has set in, the habits, the need to finish, the need to revise, and it seems like all I do is write. Not even time for movies, or gardening, or most other things.
I'm glad that I work at the store every week, and frankly wouldn't mind another day of that, but my guys are doing such a bang up job there that I don't want to mess with the formula.
Sometimes I go out into the real world and it's like, "Wow. Look how fast everyone is moving! Look at what they're doing! Listen to what they're saying! Wow!"
But then I get sucked right back into writing.
I've managed to go kayaking a few times this summer. A couple of movies. A couple of times in the garden.
But I've not even been going on walks, which I was doing in my miracle year. I intend to start that up again when the weather gets cooler. (Like today, yea!)
I'm still operating on the assumption that this can't last forever, and as long as the muse keeps supplying I will keep worshiping at her altar. I'll try to keep my head in the real world, though sometimes it's hard, sometimes I resent having to leave my current story.
I'm obsessed, compulsive, and I can't really argue with the results.
I think I'm trying to make up for lost time. I'm in my 60's, which is pretty old to be a beginning writer. I think a few more books and I can probably give up the "beginning" label. (This is all in my head -- to me a writer earns a living at writing, and I'm far from doing that.)
I keep making progress, new stories keep coming to me.
A new wrinkle is that I've decided that rewriting -- revising -- is really something that improves a book and I should do more of that, so add that to my compulsive agenda...
So I'm giving in to this compulsion, despite some doubts about the healthiness of it. Art must be done! I'm incredibly lucky that things have worked out this way.
It would be stupid to stop now.
I read this to Linda and she said, "You were that way in the store. That's why we survived..."
3 days ago