Guess what one of my most difficult writing tasks is…
- Ideas. I stare at the cat and think…maybe I’ll write a love story for Cinnamon. But then I realize that I don’t want another cat. Or kittens. Or to think about preparations for a cat wedding. Think of the guests? How I will I herd them to the chapel? It’s a horrible way to spend an afternoon thinking about these things.
- The blank page. Oy, I hate that thing. But it’s even worse with the stupid blinking cursor. How dare it flash at me? Whatever did I do to it?
- Finishing a manuscript. Who wants to say goodbye to these wonderful people I’ve created? Especially after they’ve finally found true love?
- The teaser chapter at the end of each book. You know the one. After you’ve read an entire wonderful book, you turn the page to read a teaser for book 2. It’s got sass and intrigue. You can’t wait to buy it, and look! There’s a convenient buy link just for you.
- Stopping at the end of the day. I’d be happiest if I could just write stories 24/7.
Answer: 4 – That damned teaser chapter. By the time I finish a book, I want a vacation. I don’t want to plan the next book, plot it, fill out the characters, and then write anything. Especially since Chapter 1 has to be exciting and sassy. It’s got to lure you in and suggest the rest of the book in any number of subtle ways. The truth is chapter 1 usually takes the longest to write because it sets up everything in the book. I’m usually tweaking that after I finish the manuscript. To try and write that when I turn in book 1 is horrible! And (super-secret confession), I sometimes don’t do it. Sometimes, I’ve got a publisher who is happy to slip the teaser in after I’ve written the next book. But I often don’t write that fast and so…*sigh* I have to figure out something else fun to put at the end of the book. Maybe this blog? What do you think? Would that get you to buy the next book? Yeah, I thought not.
As for the other options, (A) ideas are the easiest of my tasks. Thanks to what I just wrote, I’ve got a whole cat wedding story percolating in my brain! (B) The blank page is horrible, especially with that cursor, but honestly, I’ve faced that demon every day of my career. We’re practically old friends. (C) I love getting to the end of a book. I love giving my couple their happily ever after. And I really love sending the book off to my editor and saying, “Your turn!” Finishing is a glorious part of my job. And finally (E) stopping at the end of the day. I usually have to reward myself with something to get myself to face the blank page. At the end of 10 pages, I get to eat chocolate (a fav reward), watch that tv show I’ve been bingeing, or maybe take a shower (my husband’s fav reward). Stopping at the end of my daily word count is easy-peezy. Plus, if I don’t push myself to write too much today, it’s easier to start again tomorrow. There’s a rhythm to my writing schedule that I’ve honed over the years. It’s called: write daily and make my deadline. That’s all I have to do. It helps me avoid becoming crazy. Or crazier…