Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Writing for Real

I went out the other night with a couple writer friends. One of the things we talked about is where all of us are in our book writing endeavors.

Almost word-for-word, I said:

Every time I sit down to work on book 3 in my Shaw McLeary mystery series I give the finger to my laptop.

Yeah. Kind of been like that lately.

But saying that out loud got me thinking about what I'm doing with my writing life and, after flipping it off repeatedly, how I spend my days since I stopped all progress on the series.

Tweets, blog posts, and a brand new book are all on the daily docket. Yea, new things!

I love writing those things and that’s terrific but what about where I left my audience hanging in the last Shaw book? That phone call? The possibility of a relationship? Her trip to Seattle?

What happens if I just can’t bring myself to write it? What if I feel like giving the book the finger every day of its existence and I don’t release one single title this year?

If I leave the series in the dust and move forward with all of my exciting, new, shiny work instead, what happens to Shaw, JJ, Danny, Krista, Shaw’s sister and mom? Do they languish out there in the abyss for the rest of their un-finished lives?

In short? Yes.

So here’s a few things I need to face facts about:

1. Life isn't fair.
2. I’m being a pansy.
3. Boo hoo I have to do work I don't feel like doing...

Said every employee ever.

However, this is where the unique part of my job comes into play. I'm not really an employee.

Self-publisher, self-employed, indie author means I do actually get to choose what kind of writing I do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. I get to be inspired and write things that I love. Be floofy! Play with my inner self-ness!

And of course I never have to worry about people forgetting about me and my writing because I take so long to release a book. Oh, and the other thing is I never have to worry about people caring if I answered all the questions from the first two books or not.

Wait, right?

In short? No.

Because I do have readers. People who have read the first two books, reviewed them, mentioned to me how much they’re enjoying the series. Said outright they can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

That means, no matter how much I want to pretend I can do anything I want, that I can forget entirely about writing ‘the end’ on my series, I know what I have to do. And also what I want to do about finishing the thing that I started.

Whether number 1 up there is true or not I still need to be fair to my readers. As well as myself and my writing. And that means I need to see this thing through to the end I decided on when I started writing the series in the first place.

Because when it all comes down to it, I love writing new things, love scheduling tweets and posting blogs like this where I work out all the crap in my head. But that doesn’t get me the loyal, dedicated readers that I really want for my fiction.

I think I finally figured out that what I need and want to do have to meet somewhere in the middle. Until I figure out how to bring the Shaw book to light, I’m just going to dedicate some time to it every week and do my best to pull a first draft together by the end of February.

Using all of my fingers. 

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Launna said...

Good luck Jenn. .. I'm sure it'll come together writing is unpredictable and that's okay xox ♡

Tabitha Bird said...

All the best with the writing. I have to admit sometimes when I can't bring myself to do something there is usually a good reason why. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Suldog said...

I completely understand the finger. I'll often swear a blue streak at my innocent computer while trying to finish some assignment or another, especiALLY WHEN I HIT THE DAMN CAPLOCK AGAIN BY MISTAKE.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Unpredictable is an understatement Launna! Thanks for the encouragement :-)

You're right Tabitha but I like results driven work so its hard not to beat myself up sometimes!

Ugh, yes Jim I am so in touch with that because I have to look at the keys when I type, never learned to look away. Stupid caps lock and num lock are my nemesis sometimes!