Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's The Meaning of My Books, What's My Inspiraaaa-aation?

That song will be stuck in your head for the next two weeks. You're welcome, blog readers!

First off, you'll notice the blog is slightly different, namely that I got rid of my non-working links, and that there are now labels for all of my posts. That way, if you want to read solely about Demonglass or the Writing Biz without sifting through my Xanadu/Neil Diamond/Small Son diatribes, you can! Hooray! But, just so you know, you are missing some QUALITY STUFF! ;) I'm still not totally sold on this template, though, so there may be more changes to come. Stay tuned!

Okay, today I wrote over 3,000 words on Rebel Belle, which means that my brain is a little fried, and I might start writing in French or weeping incoherently. So, you know, heads up.

I'm around 20K words into Rebel Belle right now, and writing it has been such a different experience from writing Demonglass. Part of that is that when I was writing Demonglass, I was basically hovering on a tightrope of terror. I was living off my retirement, I had literally no Plan B, and I had never managed to finish a book before. This time around, I have the security of a fabulous agent, and a lovely editor, and a perfect home for all 3 of the Demonglass books.

But I really don't think all of that is what's made the difference. I think it's the main thing I learned while writing Demonglass, and that is that writing is hard.

I just blew your mind, right? I mean, NO ONE has ever suggested writing was anything but flowers and sausages (oh, yeah, I used that clip again)!

Sarcasm aside, what I mean is that, while I knew writers had to treat writing like a job, I still thought they always loved the writing, that they always felt inspired that they always knew they had a great story. Therefore, I thought, when the writing felt super sucky and really hard and not like fun at all, it meant there was something wrong with the book (or, at the worst moments, me.)

There were so many times I nearly gave up on Demonglass because I really felt like the story was too big, that there was too much of a "mytharc" to build. I mean, I'd never written a whole book! What was I doing trying to write an epic trilogy?

Then there were good days, great days even. Days when I was so deep into the story that I felt like my typing couldn't keep up with my brain. It's just that those days seemed pretty rare. Most of my writing days were just sitting down, doing the work until I'd done somewhere around 2,000 words. And occasionally, I had the "Oh my God, I suck so hard!" days.

But somehow, through a combination of those 3 types of days, Demonglass got written. And I would guess that that's how pretty much all books get written. Sure, some authors do write in a frenzy of inspiration (Stephenie Meyer wrote the gargantuan Twilight over a summer. That's 3 months, people! And she has, like, a bazillion little kids!)but for the rest of us, I'd guess it's more like a really long road trip. Most of the time you're just driving, focusing on your destination. Sometimes, you get frustrated and you're just ready to be there already, dammit, and your butt falls asleep, and you have to pee, and you can't remember why you even wanted to take a road trip. And then there are the moments when you see something truly amazing, like a really beautiful sunset, or a awesome roadside stand selling something you just have to have, and the whole trip, butt fatigue and all, feels totally worth it.

So any aspiring writers, if you're about thirty pages into your novel and feeliing a total lack of inspiration, power through it! If I only wrote when I was inspired, I'd write a book every five years, or something.

Of course, sometimes inspiration does rain down upon me in a shower of sparkly lights, as was captured in this picture by my friend Felicia.

Rachel, receiving The Muse OR slightly tipsy at an outdoor restaurant while looking at a squirrel across the street? YOU BE THE JUDGE.

I know, it's really amazing how much Inspiration looks like cheap Wal-Mart Christmas lights!

So tell me Blog Readers/Writers: What inspires you?


Corked Wine and Cigarettes said...

For some reason I wanna go watch Karate Kid.

Amie Stuart said...

You know...I wrote my first single title in three months. And many manuscripts after it too. *sigh* I would love to be able to do that again :( And not necessarily the three months thing but...I can't explain it LOL

serenity said...

First, yep, that song's going to be in my head for a while.

My inspiration is like yours. I love to write. I toyed with the dream for years and finally decided if I wanted it, I would have to work for it. Now I'm determined to keep doing that as long as it takes. And I just read advice from Anne Lamott's book that I had decided before would have to be my goal since I work full time. Make short goals.

For a future post some day, what's happening with Demonglass right now? Will there be a lot of edits and you are simply waiting on those? Getting published is such a lesson in patience, isn't it? I think we definitely have to write first and foremost because we love it. :)

Felicia said...

I'm going with inspiration raining down from Walmart christmas lights while slightly tipsy! Hehe!

Carrie Harris said...

I just write and rewrite until I make myself snarf. Man, that's really lame when I put it that way.

Annalysa said...

My characters inspire me. I adore them, and I want others to experience them, but other times I'm wishing they could just write themselves because I can't do them justice:) Oh, and you're absolutely amazing! Keep doing what you do and screw the struggles:)