sunny, beautiful day, slight chill in the air, temps 8 degrees
Walked Trudy around the pond this morning wearing flannel pajama bottoms, sweat shirt, parks and cap. And boots. Looked indigent. Thank God I'm already married - honestly, I think the combo of living in the country, writing and being naturally slothful doesn't lead to a great fashion statement.
Oh, discovered that book 5 - THE BRUTAL TELLING - can now be pre-ordered on Amazon and almost certainly at your local bookstore. It comes out in October, but it's always a great idea to get your order in since with A RULE AGAINST MURDER they ran out and had to go into another printing right away. I figure if I'm going to go for the hardcover I'd prefer a first edition!
Am up to 63-thousand words in Bury Your DEad - book 6 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. I aim for anything between 90-thousand words and 120. I think this one will be slightly over 100. But I could be fooled. It seems as I near the end it races away from me.
Because of Michael's birthday celebrations and visiting family I decided to take time off - about a week - and really join the festivities. Right decision.
However, I was surprised when yesterday came and I sat down in front of the laptop by the fireplace, and I was afraid. I wanted to run away. To do the laundry, walk Trudy, cook (for Heaven's sake!). Anything.
I was fearful I'd lost the trail. Lost the feeling. Fearful I couldn't get back to the story. Fearful I was a horrible writer, the story was crap, I was out of ideas.
The usual suspects all showed up at once. Quite a little party.
But I stuck with it and wrote a couple thousand words yesterday.
Today I felt the same way, but slightly less fearful. Again I persisted. And wrote almost 3 thousand words. Just kept at it.
I know every writer goes through the same thing. At some stage, sometimes frequently when writing, we hit that wall. It's constructed of insecurity, terror, low self-esteem, terror, and yes, terror.
Some writers step back and wait for the fire to re-start, the inspiration to hit again.
But most that I know put their heads down and write. And write. Write through the fear - and break back into that space where it feels more like transcribing. Where words and thoughts and ideas are flowing. Characters are talking and acting and I'm just the diarist. Thrilling.
I'm a big fan of persistence. I think it trumps genius every time. I think genuis is often lazy, because it doesn't have to work. And so it doesn't develop courage, doesn't develop discipline. Structure. Persistence. I think genius is often arrogant too - and that separates us from other people. And that can't be good for a writer.
Anyway, I'm feeling a little better. Have until next Tuesday with nothing much to do but write. Then we go in to Montreal for taxes, then out of Bishop's University in Lennoxville for a workshop I'm giving and a signing...then in to the Montreal Literary Festival, Blue Metropolis next Thursday, for a panel with Giles Blunt. The following week I'm all over the place, including flying to Washington for Malice Domestic.
Still, I'm much further along in this book than I ever dreamed. I think because I was in Quebec City for that month, and have been thinking about this book for a year or so.
Wish me luck. Wish me persistence, actually. And I wish you plenty too.