Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Friday, June 21, 2013

Balancing Act

One of the most common discussions I have with other writers is how to balance writing with life. After a month of really big life-stuff (i.e. brain-surgery for my kid) getting in the way of my writing goals, I'm ready to karate-chop the not-so-big stuff so I can get back to the business of getting my latest novel finished. Eliminate the unnecessary! Ka-pow! Hi-yah!

So of course I was wasting time reading blogs. All right, I wasn't being very good. And then I came across Shannon Hale's latest blog post. Go here to see how she juggles mommy-life with writer-life. I was re-inspired. I wrote for four hours today and churned out four pages. That's a lot for me. I'm usually more like James Joyce, whose friend, according to Stephen King,

found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair:  "James, what's   wrong?" the friend asked. "Is it the work?"

Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the    work; isn't it always?

"How many words did you get today?" the friend pursued.

Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): "Seven."

"Seven? But James, that's least for you."

"Yes," said James, finally looking up. "I suppose it is. But I don't know what order they go in!"

Ok, I'm not comparing the quality of my words to Joyce's, only the slowness with with I tend to eke them out.

So, four pages! Yes, that deserves an exclamation mark. 


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your son. Is he doing all right? Are you?

    Celebrate the four pages! Four pages is more than you had before and every word counts!

  2. So sorry about all the life stuff. I'm glad things have settled down a bit. Great job on the four pages!!!

  3. I hope your son's doing better! Yeah for being productive! I loved that story about James Joyce. :)


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