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 good...at 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. 

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