Okay, so I'm still in a room by myself. Still trying to think up the "right" words and wondering if anybody will ever read them. But Patty Palmer said that I need to blog (thanks, Patty!) and so I'm diving in. Or actually sticking a toe in and testing the waters. Outside as I write, Jack, (husband par exellence) is diving his hand into our new fish pond to set up an underwater spotlight. I'm at that daunting place in a writer's life when nothing I think up seems worthy of my time and effort. I've heard this referred to as "filling the well" but it feels more like crawling the desert to me. When kids ask me where my ideas come from--they always do--I say "from my brain, the same place your ideas come from." But that's just the beginning. Isn't it thrilling and scary that we can write about anything at all? Wouldn't it just be easier to be a tech writer?
“Hold on to the heart of what first makes you want to tell a story—that seed of inspiration, that character that haunts you, the moments you long to crystallize and bring to life. My goal is to couple that holding on with a practice of staying loose and softened and humble—remembering that the task is about questions, not answers.”
Is a writer someone who does not write every day? Or even every week? (GASP) Then I am not a writer. A "spurt writer", I call myself. I write when the mood strikes or an idea keeps biting my ankle and won't let go, or sometimes when I'm just plain ashamed of myself for being so lazy. Despite all this I've somehow managed to write a dozen MG and YA novels (thirteen counting my adult novel, Call It A Gift.) Spurt writers can blitz when they want to, or need to--meeting a deadline for revision, for example. I love writing. I'm never more alive than when I'm caught up in a character's life, going places I haven't been or didn't know I was going. I've just finished The Last Best Days Of Summer which will debut in the Spring of 2010, another Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux book. Frances has been my editor since 1998 and I hope she always will be. She's simply amazing.