Friday, August 05, 2011
All Work and No Play
I wrote THE END on DIY-6 last Friday.
That doesn’t mean the book is finished, of course. I’ve written it, and rewritten it, and it’s in good enough shape to go to a couple of readers. When I get feedback from them, I’ll rewrite it again, and then send it to my agent. She’ll give me feedback, and I’ll rewrite again and then send it to my editor. Six months will go by, she’ll give me feedback, and I’ll rewrite again. And maybe again. But for now, I’ve written THE END and I’m happy.
I sat for an hour or so twiddling my fingers, wondering what to do next. Life felt sort of empty. By Friday night I’d started a new book, the fifth – and probably last – in the Cutthroat Business series. For the past week, I’ve regaled my followers on Twitter with this sort of scintillating tweets: “5K on A DONE DEAL.” “6K. Going for 7K by bedtime.” “10K. Can I make it to 11K by the end of the day? Stay tuned!”
As of this writing – Thursday morning – I’ve broken 15K and I’m faithfully hoping for 20K by Friday night. 20,000 words in a week is pretty good, even for me. 22K, and I have a quarter of a book. At that rate, I could almost finish in a month. And no, that won’t happen, because A) I can’t keep up the pace for that long, and B) other things will start to happen soon, to interfere, like the kids going back to school and Killer Nashville kicking off and getting revisions on DIY-6 coming back from somebody. Plus, I still I have to revise Cutthroat Business #4, Close to Home, by the end of the month, too.
Anyway, in the midst of my 5K – 7K – 10K updates on Twitter, a friend tweeted me back to say she was amazed at my work ethic.
I stared at it – the tweet – for a while, not quite sure how to respond. What work ethic?
And of course I do get up. To get another can of Diet Dr. Pepper to keep me going for another 1K. To get the mail. To pick up the kids from school. To make lunch and dinner. To take the dog out before she piddles on the carpet. It’s not like I’m shackled to the desk. (Although sometimes it feels that way.)
I can usually write three books a year. Plus another 50,000 words or so that never make it into book form. Ideas I play with, that may one day turn into something, but then again, that may not. Plus the blogs and the tweets and the emails. I’ve learned to type faster.
But I don’t do it because of my fabulous work ethic. I guess it’s just what I do. Because it’s who I am. And what I like.
And because it’s the only way to get the voices in my head to shut up.
So what about you? What’s writing to you? Hobby? Work? Compulsion? Or fun? Maybe something in between?