Monday, September 15, 2014

Any Time Now I Will Love to Write

I love to write.

I hate to write.

Let's start over: I love to create. I love to edit. I love to tell a story.

I love to have written book.

The writing part? Well, I'm pretty much on the hate side. Except for the times I love it. Which becomes kind of like a drug addiction. I'll work through days of hating it because I know—I just know—that I will love writing if for even just a few hours any time now.

Dangling carrot. The cocaine-high of effortless brilliance. The part where I get to play a kind of writing god where I create the world (in seven days? ha!), and I create the people and their backstories and their fears, and decide what fate has in store for them.

That's a lot of responsibility.

And even more work.

Writing my first draft is wild. They often begin like silk. The words flow. I can't possibly type fast enough.

"This is gonna be the fastest first draft (and perfect, by the way) in the universe. It's magic!"

Yeah, right.

Then comes the first speed bump. And the second.

I've found I write best when I have a bit of a roadmap—an idea of where I want to get to next. That doesn't mean that little bits of flotsam won't work through whatever filter I have in place and make its way onto my page. The magic part is... (are you ready?) I don't immediately delete those things that feel, at the moment, like dust-bunnies. Pieces of lint I'm eventually going to have to vacuum up.

Trusting the process is one of the key elements for a writer. My process can include a lot of deleting, but it can also include a lot of surprises.

"Oh, yes! I see the connection now between that earlier dust-bunny and this trigger for murder!"


"That dust-bunny sure set up a great metaphor for the overall theme of this story (which I rarely know about ahead of time): global terrorism!"

Which is part of the whole addiction.

You get my point. In case you haven't, it's to trust the process. Sometimes you've just got to let it flow.

Thanks to my Sisters in Crime sister, and good friend, Sheila Lowe, for encouraging me to write this post. You can read hers by clicking on her name. She writes an awesome series featuring a handwriting analyst. Which works really well for her because she is one. (And waving to Dennis Palumbo, whose fabulous book, PHANTOM LIMB, I finished reading this morning even before turning on the news. Yes, it's that good. And who, by the way, provided a beautiful endorsement for my last book, THE SACRIFICE.)

Check out another Sisters In Crime blog (and yeah, she's really my sister): Lala Corriere.


  1. Great description of the writing process!

  2. It's different for everyone, but ours must be similar.