A Little Perspective
It's late, I'm tired, I've had a long and stressful day. I had a great topic for today's post, but unfortunately it got eaten by Monday the 13th. Sorry about that. Maybe next time I'll have something interesting to say. For now, have a recycled blog post. It's about how even professionals have issues (look, all writers have issues, no matter to what level of professionalism they may belong). This was originally posted at my Livejournal 10/04/2008. Click here if you really must see the original entry for yourself . It has been edited and updated/revised for posting today. My comments of this year are in parentheses and bolded. Please keep in mind this was written...uh...yeah.
< Blah blah blah stuff about magazines and an issue of Entertainment Weekly that was in my house for a long and complicated reason. Our story begins when Something Catches Dina's Eye >**
"It was an interview with Nicholas Sparks. (Clicky to see it for yourself.)
Now, I'm not a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks. My mother reads that kind of thing. There aren't enough vampires in his stuff for me. But still, he writes well (you know…if you like that kind of thing – "well" is a subjective term used loosely here ), I enjoyed what (little) I have read of his work, he tells a great (*cough*) story, and he writes bestsellers. People buy his books just because he wrote them - because they know that he's good and they'll enjoy whatever it is he's written about now. He writes a book a year or so, but what really caught my attention was what he said about *HOW* he writes.
(Article excerpts written by Karen Valby)
A novel takes him a few months to conceive and then five months to write. He sets a daily goal for himself of 2,000 words. He writes for five to six hours a day and types approximately 60 words a minute, which he says leaves him with 54 minutes an hour to stare at the computer and six minutes to actually write.
I do that. I do *just* that, really. Stare at the cursor, contemplate, scream at my characters, argue with them, want to tear my hair out, then just put my hands on the keyboard and make them say something. If it's crap, they'll correct me. Evil method, but hey, it gets them talking.
And a little later in the article...
Sparks admits to an ever-present cloud of worry hanging over his head. ''After every book I feel like the well is dry,'' he says. ''Well, that's it! Got nothing. Done. Washed up. Don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe I'll write a cookbook.'' But then he practices his standard method of formulating the skeleton of his next love story.
SEE?! SEE?! HE DOES IT TOO!
*That* makes me feel exceedingly better. I mean, if NICHOLAS FREAKING SPARKS feels like he's completely done after every book he finishes, then there's nothing wrong with me. He's a Professional with a CAPITAL P, and still he feels just like I do."
**Oh, Dina. How time flies. You now know, dear, sweet, naïve 2008 Dina, that Nicholas Sparks isn't exactly what you'd call…um….
Let's just say he doesn't exactly occupy the same space in my sphere that he did four years ago and be done with it, hmm?
The point is, every writer does it, no matter what. Except maybe Stephenie Meyer. And we won't get into that either. See above about the late and tired.