"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Writing Recluse

I decided I wanted to write books at such an early age that I don't even remember the decision. Maybe it had to do with this one book my dad and I read together when I was really little. It didn't have words, just pictures. And my dad and I would make up the story to go with the pictures. Maybe this is where I figured out that someone wrote books and I wanted to be that someone. I wanted to write kids books. My school had a book writing fair or something each year when we wrote books and drew the pictures, etc. I loved it. That was my calling in life. I was going to be a children's book author and illustrator. I can even remember learning the word author and having to say it really slowly so I didn't accidentally say the name Arthur.

When I was ten or so I realized that my artistic ability had stalled at about the level of an eight year old and I gave up on that dream. But by then I was well into the world of young adult literature or teen lit. I was going to write young adult books. One of the first actual facts my husband learned about me as a person was that I wanted to be a writer. A girl from church told him I was "serious about it. She even has a book."

I go through periods when I write a lot and when I don't. Mostly I have a lot of great (I think) ideas, but nothing gets finished. So when I was driving to Baby X's cardiology appointment yesterday and I had all sort so free time in the car without the two big kids asking me a billion questions, I was thinking about writing. And I thought, even if I could ever finish a story/book that I wrote, I couldn't be like the Shannon Hales or Stephenie Meyers, etc. who write one book, get it published and then turn into book writing machines. Or any other uber famous writers who publish a book a year or more. It would be such a huge success for me to finish something that long. To actually complete a book, I'd be one of those one book recluses like Harper Lee (of To Kill A Mockingbird fame) and William Forrester.

It just seems crazy to me how people become successful writers. But I guess once it's your job and it's paying your bills, you have that sort of time to devote to it. I'd probably just procrastinate and actually clean my toilets.


wendys said...

I think you are a great writer, from all that I've read on your blog. Your ideas are clear, you have a point to your postings, and not just ramblings about how your kids are better than mine. I'm amazed at the authors who can write hundreds and hundreds of pages a year and take care of kids at the same time...

jazzykins said...

Nancy- You are my blogging hero! I love reading and looking at all the stuff you come up with the blog about. I'm trying to blog a couple times a week, but sometimes I just sit in front of the computer and think, Who the heck would care about my random thoughts? Anyway, you are awesome. And you are a great writer and I can't wait to say I knew you when!

JT said...

I just read "The Writing Life" by Annie Dillard. I think that you would appreciate it. I think that writing is a calling that haunts someone until they can no longer stand to not write. Then they force themselves into the arduous and painful process until they find peace with what they have expressed. Then they lay low until it so bothers them that they can no longer not write.

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