Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gotta do it

Yesterday Gail posted on our goal loop that she'd mailed the ms. that was due on her editor's desk. (Brava, Gail!) She was now going to take a few days to do some character work and a few other things, and then get started on the next book.

Now, that's a writer.

A writer writes. There may be different reasons we write, ranging from "my editor expected it yesterday" to "I had an interesting dream last night and want to play with it". But they all boil down to the same thing--we write because that's what we do (after all, you wouldn't have an editor tapping her toe impatiently if it isn't). It's how we make sense of the world. We write because there are stories inside us that have to be told. Some days it's easier than others. Some days we toss out everything we wrote the day before. Other days the words flow, already polished and gleaming, from our fingers. But we write. It takes discipline and training, just like any other profession. But teachers teach because they have to, because that's the way their brains are made. My engineer husband designs wireless communications systems because he can't NOT scribble circuit ideas on napkins in restaurants (very embarrassing if we're eating somewhere upscale).

I know that I get v-e-e-rr-ry cranky if I go more than about two days without having written something. It's like a boiler in my head, constantly bubbling, and writing down what has been simmering in the boiler keeps the engine running smoothly. I know that as I get to the middle of one book, the next book starts whispering (or simmering, to maintain the simile) and gets told that it has to wait its turn. It may only be a page a day, which seems to be the case for me lately :( But I write, because I have to.

How about you?


SpecRom Joyce said...

Great post, Marissa!!!!

Gail Dayton said...

Okay, the sweetest, most romantic my fella ever, ever said to me was one day when I was sitting at the dinner table writing something. He came up and asked what I was working on. I told him it was a new story. He said "Oh good. I noticed you hadn't been writing anything the last few months, and I was beginning to worry about you."

Now, that man is definitely a keeper!