October seems like a good time to reflect on the writing life and all it involves. Wickeds, does writing energize or exhaust you? Does it change with the phase of the project you are in? Is there a part of the writing process that you like best?
Edith: Writing first draft often energizes me. The start of the book is fun, the end is exciting – the middle not so much. But I know if I sit (and walk) with it, I’ll be able to move the story forward. What exhausts me is the promotional side of the writing life. I’ll look at another author’s meme or Instagram promotions, for example, and think, “Ack, I should probably do that, I should figure that out.” And then I don’t, for the most part. I never know how much promotion is too much and what is effective (yes, I do send direct email newsletters, said to have the biggest impact). But when I’m away from my work for a week or more and I’m dying to get back to it, like I was last week? I know I’m in the right career.
Liz: Right now, I’m exhausted at the thought of finishing my current book, but that’s more situational. First drafts are harder for me – I find it’s much easier to face whatever’s written and fix it, even if it’s terrible. Also, there’s my procrastination problem….but once I remind myself I’m blessed to be doing this, it all seems to shift and get back on track.
Sherry: I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I don’t think any part of the writing process exhausts me. Sometimes I’m afraid I’m not up to the task but that is a whole different thing. Writing is hard work but when it flows it’s amazing, when it doesn’t you just have to dig deep.
Barb: I’ve noticed with my current work-in-progress that writing dialog in the first draft flies. It really does energize me. On the other hand, I find it really hard to write when I am uncomfortable about my knowledge in an area. For example, I’ve written eight mystery novels, two novellas, and numerous short stories without ever shooting anyone. Now I have finally gone and done it, but I know so little about guns, ballistics reports, etc., etc., I am having to do a lot of research to get these scenes written. I always say it’s easier to tell a lie (i.e. make something up) when it has a foundation in truth. I’ll run these scenes by someone with expertise before I foist them on a unsuspecting public, but I have to get them written before I can even do that and it’s a slog for me.
Julie: I love the process of writing, but cranking out the first draft does exhaust me. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s because I try and write too much in one day. Lately I’ve been sprinting to finish a draft, and I’m dragging myself over the finish line. I need to learn patience with myself and the process, and to not work to the point of exhaustion.
Jessie: I am exhausted when I fail to follow the fun. When the deadlines are stacked too closely or the project is hitched up somewhere I feel stressed and unhappy and then I feel drained. But, like the others have mentioned, when the story is gathering speed and direction and is amassing into something I love and of which I am proud it is more exhilirating than anything else I experience!
Readers: Do you have a part of your life that energizes or exhausts you?