So I sat down today to finally get back into some writing. I’ll admit, for the last few months I’ve been incredibly slack about it. What used to be a daily thing for me, started to feel like a chore, a burden even, and something I wasn’t enjoying very much anymore. And I’m not sure I can put it down to any one cause either. Sure life sometimes got in the way, but this time around, it was more than that. Between changing jobs, the death of a friend, overseas and interstate visitors and possibly a little bit (or a whole lot) of self-doubt, it just wasn’t happening.
So today, when I finally sat down to write again, instead of thinking about my plot and characters, I started thinking about why this one was giving me so much grief. Mainly I was asking myself; why is writing so damn hard at times?
Of course don’t get me wrong, it’s never easy, not by a long shot. But there is no doubt some of my books have come quicker, easier and with less pain than this one.
Take for example, Losing Me Finding You. This was, without a doubt, the easiest of all my books. I can’t even explain how or why, just that two things (a book and a movie), triggered the plot and as soon as I started writing it, I could not stop. Ironically enough, I actually started writing it when I became stuck on something else I was writing and over the course of 60 days, I wrote almost the entire first draft. It was awesome…but it was also my 4th book, so I figured maybe I was finally learning how this whole writing thing worked!
Because I can tell you, book 3, I Love You, Always was definitely a hard book for me to write. Part of that was expectation, part of it was knowing everyone wanted Luke’s story and part of it was writing about things that weren’t easy to write about. Things I wasn’t sure I wanted to process or put onto a page.
I Love You to Death however, was actually surprisingly ok to write. Sure, it was my first book and there was zero expectation and pressure. I mean aside from my husband and three friends, no one even knew I was writing anything! That definitely made things easier and as dark and tragic as Ash’s story was, I still loved writing it. I couldn’t wait to explore all of her past deaths and loves and tie them into her present with Luke. This was a writing experience that worsened my insomnia, but for which I definitely wasn’t complaining!
Stubborn Love was a little trickier, but I think most of that was because I didn’t actually realise at the time that it should be book 2. I assumed it would be book 3, after Luke’s story had been released. But once I realised that timeline wasn’t going to work, I was ok writing it. I really liked the back and forth, past and present aspect of it and I enjoyed getting in both of their heads.
And of course my 5th book, Waiting For You was just as easy as Losing Me Finding You. In fact the hardest part about writing this book was playing around with the letters and eventually realising they didn’t belong in Losing Me Finding You and instead needed their own story.
Which brings me to my latest WIP, Anything Could Happen. There’s no doubt this one is the hardest book of them all for me to write. I’ve been writing this book for a long time…a very long time. It was the book I got stuck on over a year ago, which resulted in Losing Me Finding You getting written. It’s also the reason I decided to put Waiting For You out there…because yep, once again I got stuck. Which is not to say Anything Could Happen isn’t going to get finished. In fact, the book is over half done and the whole story is already plotted and outlined (something I don’t really do). No, the biggest problem is every time I sit down to write it, I kind of go blank…I get nothing! Part of that is due to its structure – it’s different, it’s possibly weird and it’s definitely a challenge. I want to tell you more about it, but I need to wait until I can make sure I can pull it off. And part of it is the usual self-doubt that all writers are plagued with. That never goes away, no matter how many books you write and honestly, the process doesn’t ever get easier either.
But that’s no reason to quit. In fact it should be the very reason we persist, because…
All things are difficult before they are easy
So the point of all of this…yes I’ve been very quiet on this latest book, but I promise you it’s happening. I’m excited about it and I can’t wait to share it with you all. Plus, I do have that awesome cover! In the meantime, every time I do get stuck, I’m probably going to blog about something pointless and rambling (this being a prime example!). It helps though, it gets me in the writing frame of mind. You’ll probably be seeing a lot of it…