Monday, April 22, 2013

Distractions, Difficulties, and Delights

If someone had told me how much work writing was going to be, I still would have done it. We live every day with a story in our mind. Sometimes there are two stories, or three, until everything becomes a jumbled mess.  "Just pick a story and write," someone says. You reply, "Sure, I'll get right on that," when secretly you want to commit mayhem on this unknowing civilian who doesn't realize you've been telling yourself that ALL WEEK!

Many suns have risen, shining light into my bedroom window, energizing me. I crawl out of bed with a single thought--get through the early morning routine quickly so I can move onto the good stuff--writing. Yet, what often happens after the morning workout, walking the dogs, feeding the dogs, getting ready for the day, and feeding myself, is I sit down at the computer and face the first distraction--emails. I'll think "No problem. Answer a few emails and then move on." What really happens is one email turns into another, which turns into an update on Facebook, checking LinkedIn, and realizing I do have to actually work that day. 

I'll sneak in a half hour here or twenty minutes there, but the distractions continue. The afternoon finally rolls around and I think, "Now! I can get down to the nitty-gritty and whip out 5,000 words." Really what happens is that yet another distraction creeps up, monopolizing your preciously guarded time. I'm then thinking about that deadline and wondering how to tell my editor the book won't be ready. I'm thinking about that book tour I've planned which will now have to moved. Then I think, "Forget it--this book is getting done!" Wait, it's still not always that easy.  

Right about now people may be asking one of two things; "How do you actually get a book written?" and "Why do you bother?"

I'm sorry, have you missed my previous posts about delays, delays, and more delays? The books definitely get written, but not without a few hiccups. So that begs an answer to the next question--"Why bother?" 

Every author has their own response to that question, but I'm willing to bet at the root of the answers is a single common theme--it's a part of who we are. 

We may try to shut out the stories, take a break, walk away, focus on something else, but while we're attempting to do all of that, the stories aren't buried. Instead they are using tiny hammers against the inside of our brain, pounding their way out, all the while shouting "Stop ignoring me!" 

Believe me, it's best not to ignore them. 

Well then, where are the delights? Every minute spent on a story is a delight. Even when the characters are maddening or you realize you have to toss out a chapter and rewrite another, there is delight in creating another world, living in another time, and meeting fascinating characters you didn't even realize could become characters worth loving.  

The greatest delight of all is the reader. The person who picks up the book, takes the time to read it, and perhaps even loves it for all of the same reasons we (that would be the authors) do. After all, it's why we put up the distractions and difficulties. 

For you. 

Okay, and for us too.    

Image Credit: The super cool image at the top of this post was found on Pinterest. I decoded the super internet highway looking for the original source, but alas I came up with nothing that didn't look suspicious. If you have this mysterious information, feel free to share it so I can properly credit the artist.


  1. Love the image. Thank you for going through all the distractions, difficulties, and delights for us - you are a wonderful storyteller and give us hours of reading pleasure.

    1. It is a cool graphic. Thank you as always for the kind words Karen.