Always Working

Writers never get days off. Which is a hard truth to understand when young, idealistic scribblers decide one day over their dinner-time beer that they want to give it a go–they’re going to make a living with their words.

Guys, it isn’t that easy.

Writing is work. Writing fiction, even more so. Every single detail put on the page has to be far more based in reality than Joe Blow’s autobiography. Especially fiction involving magic, monsters, or the future. Why? Without realistic details, human minds have nothing to visualize as they strive to absorb something new, or a new twist on an old myth. This means writers are always researching. Always looking around for a trigger that’ll get them through a problematic scene. Our phones are full of random conversation tidbits, or details about how someone drives a stick-shift, as witnessed from the back seat. Crap that if anyone else saw these notes, they’d never make sense.

Life as a professional writer is an endless pile of research papers, and the professors are extra-crispy picky.

Even on days there’s no words written in a manuscript, writers are thinking. Researching. Making notes. Tweaking character traits. All so when they do have the time to sit and write without interruption, it will hopefully go smoothly. Hopefully.

Thank goodness I can call dicking around on the internet work. With my mental hiccups, sometimes I can’t step out of my head and into a character’s. It happens. Rarer now than even a year ago, but the potential is always there. And I have a system to work around it. Which today (Father’s day, as I’m writing this) involves vodka, a documentary on A Nightmare on Elm Street, and looking up nontraditional wedding ceremonies.

I should also figure out how I’m killing victim #1 in the new book. That’ll cheer me up. More than the vodka already is.

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