Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This is what I want to know:

How do so many writers publish such amazing, breathtaking, awesomely beautiful books when I have felt like a writer my entire life but the act of actually sitting down to write makes me want to tear my hair out and consider Harikari?

As a book editor, I am subjected to achingly beautiful, gorgeous writing on an almost daily basis and for someone who has been trying to write the same damn book for 33 years, this is-at times-akin to torture. How come they can do it and I can't??

To make matters worse, the authors I am blessed to read make their writing seem both effortless and inspired. Easy and necessary and sprinkled with profound insight. Like God spake and they merely pulled out the little pencil behind their ear and took dictation. God may be speaking to me but the wires are crossed, the connection is fuzzy, the phone is ringing and the dishes, the peanut butter cookies, my son and my husband are calling to me on a much louder frequency.

OK, enough complaining. OK, maybe not quite enough. Here's a little more. I actually have time to write these days but I'm using that time to worry about health insurance, paying the bills, cleaning the house, going to the gym, taking care of my mental health and updating my BLOG. Oh, and reading all of those books that are so very good, they make me want to cry.


  1. Valley,

    You need a routine. Stephen King writes in the morning. Former poet laureate Ted Kooser still wakes up at 4AM to write. Billy Collins works on his poems a little bit each day.

    I find poetry the most satisfying, because you can complete a large percentage of it in short doses, but I too write fiction, self-help and screenplays.

    But a little bit each day, or at least four or five days a week -- even 20- or 30-minute bursts -- will pay dividends and get you on your way.

    The other advice is read. Seems like you've got that covered.

  2. Read this.


  3. Love that Facebook led me to you.
    Wanted to say that I totally know what you mean. I am a writer and yet the writing... where the hell is it? Lost somewhere in my job and my baby and my husband and my house. It will come. I have faith. And delusions. (it's crappier than ever lately so read the archives)