Love the Company, Forget the Misery

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.  – Jack London

You want to write a book. Of course you do. Everyone wants to write a book. You’ve thought about it. You have the bones of a plot laid out, some characters, a few situations already mapped. And I can tell you right now that it’ a good idea, because you are an intelligent and interesting person and you have things to say. I can also tell you why you haven’t done it yet: it’s freaking hard. While you are surfing Netflix, tired at the end of the day, this is Rick.

Rick work at night-cropped
And this is me, getting in editing time on the train in to work.

Cat on train working
Sorry about the pictures. I never said I was a photographer. I am not a liar.
You, who have not yet written your book, are the sensible one. The picture we have of writing is false. You know the one: the author, sitting down in the morning with a nice hot cup of stuff in a clean house with nothing else on his or her mind, satisfied, rested, ready to pour out that fabulous story. Ha! Writers write after work, at lunch, on breaks. Writers ignore the dirty dishes, the laundry, the fact that the living room hasn’t been vacuumed in a month and whatever it is that is stinking up the refrigerator. Writers get up at four a.m. (I’ve heard) because it’s the only time they can find. Writers are still sitting at the keyboard long after everyone else has gone to bed (now, that’s us). Writers will try to write just about anywhere, exploiting whatever unclaimed time pops up. While you are resting, appropriately, after your long labors, the writer is getting on with it.
Why? Don’t really know. Why does anyone get obsessed with anything? Maybe the Muse really does just grab some people and never let go.
So next time you cuddle up to a new book, feel free to think about the author more realistically. Unless he’s George R.R. Martin, your book’s writer, even well known writers (like Tolkien!), stole all the time he or she could out of a normally full life to get it to you.
…Just don’t feel sorry for the idiot. That person made a choice and if you’re reading the book and the writer is among the living, he or she is absolutely delighted and is already doing it again.

PS: Happy NaNoWriMo!

Random Picture of the Week

go alex go