The reason I haven't been such a faithful blogger lately is that I've been juggling three book projects. My last deadline was July 1st -- and I made it! Now, if I was a more normal sort of person, I'd probably be glad to have some time off from writing books. But the thing is I'M HOOKED AND I CAN'T STOP.
So, I thought I'd use today's blog entry to explore why that might be.
I love having a project on the go. And I love having an imaginary world to think about. And I also love doing research -- exploring new subjects and asking lots of questions. That's why for today's pic, I took a photo of the four sheets of notes currently on my desk. Each sheet has a different book idea. Over the next few days and weeks, I plan to start doing preliminary research on all four topics... and the one that "calls" to me most, well that'll be my next project!
And because I think it's important for authors to be honest about their work -- especially authors like me who want to help inspire others to write -- I should tell you that even after having published 17 YA novels, and with three more books due out in spring 2016, I still find writing difficult. And you know what? That's also why I'm hooked. Because even if it's hard work, and often frustrating, I think I like doing difficult, challenging things.
You may know that I am a great fan of Lewis Carroll's -- and that I wrote my MA thesis on the Alice books (and that yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the day Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, told Alice Liddell and her sisters the story that led to the first Alice book). Well, my very good friend Kevin recently sent me a wonderful new biography of Lewis Carroll called The Story of Alice by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. Writing about our need for fiction, Douglas-Fairhurst quotes Julian Barnes's novel, Flaubert's Parrot: "Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this. Books are where things are explained to you. Life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised some people prefer books." I LOVED THOSE LINES. They also help explain why I'm hooked on writing books. I hope you are, too!!
I totally understand where you're coming from, Monique. I finished the first book in my fantasy trilogy on Wednesday, and Friday I was chomping at the bit to get to work on the next one. I wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn't just enjoy the pleasure of a job done (well, I hope.)And like you, I find writing gets harder, rather than easier -- even after 23 published books. I've kept my fingers off the keyboard so far, but that hasn't stopped my mind from plotting and planning.