“Inspiration is for amateurs–the rest of us just show up and get to work.” -Chuck Close
After writing Please Please Please I wrote two more novels that were basically drafts–very good drafts–but not good enough for publication. Looking back, I think I was trying to write like I thought I was supposed to write and write like anyone except ME. I needed to find my voice and celebrate it. I like humor, for instance, and dramadies, and quirky characters; and I always try to surprise myself and the reader. The good news was that I never once gave up. After my second novel failed, my agent simply told me–write something else, as easily as you might say, bake another pie, or take another walk. But I took her advice. I kept writing. Along the way I fell in love with the process of writing and stopped writing for fame or to say told you so to those who doubted me. I started to enjoy waking up at the crack of dawn (sometimes before the crack of dawn), having my tea, and getting to the nitty gritty. I learned over time to like the days when the writing was going poorly, and I mean POORLY, almost as much as the days when I was having “fun.” It was all part of it. Falling in love with the process helped me not to be attached to the outcome.
YEARS later, after the aforementioned Two Books That Went Nowhere, I started yet another novel which would turn into Shake Down the Stars. I was teaching what felt like a gazzillion classes at the time and waking up at the crack of dawn to write. I worked on my third novel while on my vacation and on weekends. I worked hard and I had fun. The end result was a two-book deal from NAL/Penguin. Shake Down the Stars is finished and out of my hands, but I now owe my editor a second novel. As of today, January 27th, I only have four chapters, and the book has to be completed by the end of August, 2013. (D’OH!) All of this is to say, I’d like my blog to be a place where I can occasionally post things that make me (and hopefully you) smile, and things (articles, links, etc) that have helped me along the way. Thanks for stopping by. Please keep in touch. -R.